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ONTARIO (ChurchMilitant.com) - Canadian Catholic School districts will begin disciplining students for alleged homophobia, harassment towards gender identity, sexual orientation and the like.
On Tuesday, the Ontario Halton Catholic School Board voted in the new policy, which says all members of the community must "promote a positive school climate that is inclusive and accepting of all pupils, including pupils of any age, ... gender expression, gender identity, marital status, ... sex, or sexual orientation."
This was a second vote after the initial attempt the previous month failed. During that May meeting, school board member Anthony Quinn questioned the update, claiming that students who hold to Church teaching could be subjected to disciplinary measures.
School board chair Jane Michael claimed, "It was a shock to all of us, I believe." She then went on to speak of her hopes that the updates would pass in the future.
Fast forward one month, and Michael's wish was granted. After a vote of 4–1, the update was passed to keep in accordance with Ontario's Human Rights Code.
The report explains that it considers actions of "homophobia" to be punishable through progressive disciplinary tactics, including suspension and expulsion.
Geoff Cauchi, a Catholic lawyer, told reporters, "It's dangerous, because it will be used to discipline students and teachers who do nothing more than state the Catholic Church's teaching on subjects such as homosexuality and gender theory, and state their support for it in a civil manner."
Church Militant contacted Jane Michael and asked about her vote with regard to Church teaching, but she preferred not to comment.