VIDEO: Parent Seeks Court Order For Religious Accomodation
Would you be offended if a school acted like a parent to your kids?
That's what one man in Hamilton is alleging, after he claims his kids' school wouldn't accommodate his religious beliefs. Dr. Steve Tourloukis is now looking for a court order acknowledge his parental rights and for the school board to respect his beliefs.
Tourloukis says he asked the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board to give him advance notice of materials that may go against his religious beliefs, noting he would like to teach his kids about marriage and human sexuality.
He says the Board wouldn't respond and noted he should perhaps send his kids to a Catholic school or home-school them.
He has a daughter in grade one and a son in grade four.
Tourloukis underlines that he is Greek Orthodox, not Catholic. He says he should be able to send his kids to any school he wants and be accommodated like any other religious group.
The Father of two says this is not about being against the gay community, but rather having a school respect he wants to teach his kids about certain things.
Meantime, The education minister says she's proud of the curriculum in the province's schools.
Laurel Broten says there is a religious accommodation policy in place at each of the province's boards, pointing to one instance when parents asked if their children not dance for a class. So instead, Broten says the students wrote a story about music and dance.
She did not speak to this particular incident.
Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board Director of Education John Malloy says he won't talk about this specific case because it's before the courts. However, he says it's never black or white when it comes to accommodation requests as every one is different.
Malloy says the Board has extended an open invitation to parents to come in and speak with the principal of the school in question if they have concerns about what is being taught. He says the key is to create an inclusive environment for all students and having some leave the classroom for even a brief period may not do that.