The Coptic Orthodox Churches in Toronto are threatening to withdraw 4,000 families from the Toronto Catholic District School Board if it does not amend its controversial equity policy to protect Catholic teaching in the schools.
According to one expert in Ontario education, if the threat were carried out, the board could lose upwards of $40,000,000 in annual public funding, and over 150 teachers.
If the board implements its policy, wrote Fr. Jeremiah Attaalla on June 22nd, “we will not hesitate to withdraw our children at once from attending any Catholic school within Toronto or [the Greater Toronto Area].”
The equity policy, passed earlier this year as part of the Ontario government’s sweeping equity and inclusive education strategy, has sparked an unprecedented mobilization of parents who fear that it will give homosexual activists a foothold in order to further subvert already weak Catholic sexual teaching in the schools.
In August the board will be considering a set of amendments to the policy promoted by trustee John Del Grande and Angela Kennedy to ensure that equity and inclusion are interpreted consistently with Catholic teaching.
Fr. Attaalla wrote in his letter, which was addressed to Director of Education Ann Perron, that they will withdraw their children “if the requested amendments are not implemented.”
He said the amendments are “faithful to the teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.”
The priest explained that he was writing on behalf of the parishes of St. Mark (Scarborough), St. George and St. Ruiess (North York), St. Mourice and St. Verena (North York), and Ti Agia Maria and St. Demiana (Etobicoke).
He said these parishes have a population of at least 5,000 families, not one of which support the public schools because of their implementation of the government’s controversial equity agenda.
He said at least 80% of those families attend the Catholic schools and the rest attend private schools.
The school board reportedly receives about $10,000 in public funding for every child and it requires approximately 19 children to support one teacher.
See a copy of the official Coptic statement here.