President of AHEPS, Judy Arnall, was invited to speak at the Panel for the Protection of Home Schooling on November 12, 2016.
1. Judy Arnall – Alberta Home Education Parents Society (AHEPS)
Judy covered home education history and terminology. AHEPS is a brand new society whose motive is to be a collective voice for families who want to home educate in Alberta. AHEPS is inclusive to all types of homeschooling whether blended, aligned, or traditional, and welcomes all families regardless of religion. One interesting fact I learned from Judy is that Alberta is one of the most highly regulated provinces when it comes to home education. Personally, I now feel compelled to learn about home education regulations in other Canadian provinces! (Judy’s recommend reading links are listed below.)
2. Donna Trimble – Parents for Choice in Education (PCE)
The website, Parents for Choice in Education, is very informative. I recommend signing up for notifications to keep abreast of of the political aspect of education. Donna recommended that we band together with parents of “brick-and-mortar-school” children to fight against many of the changes that the government is proposing in education. These changes will very likely affect home educated children in the near future. (See links to PRISM Toolkit and Alberta Human Rights Act Amendments below.)
Donna placed a great emphasis on Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.” (See link to complete document below.)
3. James Kitchen – The Justice Centre of Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF)
James recommended that many of the documents listed below be read by parents and educators. He suggested that when we educate ourselves about our rights as parents and educators, then we will be better equipped to stand up against discrimination and we will notice discrepancies in government rulings. I was astonished to learn that not every Bill passed necessarily meets the requirements of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms!
James outlined our 4 Freedoms:
1. Freedom of Religion
2. Freedom of Speech
3. Freedom of Association
4. Freedom of Assembly
Our rights as Canadian citizens are based on these 4 Freedoms and we are encouraged to respectfully utilize our freedoms and stand up for our rights as parents and home educators.