With all the information floating around lately about Catholic schools, religion classes, and funding, we thought we’d just remind everyone about the Alberta Act and the Northwest Territories Ordinances of 1901 that govern our school boards. Here’s what they say:
Alberta School Act
Religious and patriotic instruction
50(1) A board may
(a) prescribe religious instruction to be offered to its students;
(b) prescribe religious exercises for its students;
(c) prescribe patriotic instruction to be offered to its students;
(d) prescribe patriotic exercises for its students;
(e) permit persons other than teachers to provide religious instruction to its students.
(2) Where a teacher or other person providing religious or patriotic instruction receives a written request signed by a parent of a student that the student be excluded from religious or patriotic instruction or exercises, or both, the teacher or other person shall permit the student
(a) to leave the classroom or place where the instruction or exercises are taking place for the duration of the instruction or exercises, or
(b) to remain in the classroom or place without taking part in the instruction or exercises.
Ordinances of Northwest Territories, 1901
137 No religious instruction except as hereinafter provided shall be permitted in the school of any district from the opening of such school until one half hour previous to its closing in the afternoon after which time any such instruction permitted or desired by the board may be given.
Time for the Lord’s prayer
(2) It shall however be permissible for the board of any district to direct that the school be opened by the recitation of the Lord’s prayer. C.O., c.75, s.110.
Attendance not compulsory during religious exercise
138 Any child shall have the privilege of leaving the school room at the time at which religious instruction is commenced as provided for in the next preceding
section or on remaining without taking part in any religious instruction that may be given if the parents or guardians do desire.
C.O., c.75, s.111.