Friday, May 28, 2010

Eden Christian High School - A Commentary

I read Christina Blizzard's column in the St. Catharines Standard, Funding For Schools Splits Community, Wed., May 26, 2010, with great interest.

It isn't the first time she has written about the fact that the District School Board of Niagara runs Eden Christian High School, a fully funded, faith-based school in a province that seemingly rejected the notion in the last election. But reading her comments this time made me realise I hadn't really ever stopped to think about why something that is, (on the surface), so blatantly unfair, i.e., the funding of one faith based school over another, is completely acceptable to me.

The answer? Eden Christian High School is Mennonite.

I'm not Mennonite. I did however grow up in Niagara and if you grew up in Niagara you probably had many Mennonite teachers. I always knew which teachers were Mennonite, I could tell by their modest, unadorned clothes and quiet voices. More importantly I could tell by their loving firmness in the class room - the way they respected us and demanded respect and obedience in return. Never once did a Mennonite teacher try to impose his or her religious beliefs on us. What they did impart was their values of decency and concern for others.

Mennonites have been quietly going about the business of educating children for a long, long time in Niagara and they've earned a lot of respect. They are the known, the trusted, the proven.

I don't think the voters of Ontario said no to faith based schools. I think we said no to someone's half-baked politically correct notion of what is fair.

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