The 905er Podcast

A Question of Pride for the Halton Catholic School Board

April 20, 2021

Tonight will be a momentous night for the Halton Catholic District School Board.

For weeks, the board has been wrestling with itself over whether or not the Pride flag ought to be raised over its schools. A motion brought by Trustee Brenda Agnew under the title "Supporting Our Diverse School Community" would direct the Pride flag to be flown over HCDSB schools and mandate a safe space poster in every class "to ensure that students in the 2SLGBT community are supported throughout the school year". This motion has attracted the support of numerous parents and students, who have written letters or registered to delegate in support for the motion.  However, others have expressed opposition to the flag, claiming it is not in line with the tenets of Catholicism. The motion has divided the Catholic community in Halton, Ontario, and the debate has raised questions once again about the place of publicly funded Catholic education in the province.

We invited a former Halton Catholic School Board graduate, Niamh Shallow, onto the podcast to give her perspective.  Niamh is a third year Sociology major at Trent University, and has written in support of trustee Agnew's motion, and will be part of a delegation in favour of the motion at the HCDSB board meeting on Tuesday evening.

Joining her is Deirdre Pike. 905er listeners will remember Deirdre from our episode on Hamilton Universal Basic Income pilot project.  She is also a recent nominee for an Ontario Newspaper Award for her column in The Spectator. Today she joins us as an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights who is also a practising Catholic.

https://www.thespec.com/authors.pike_deirdre.html

You can watch the HCDSB Board Meeting Live on YouTube here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs1eFo6E0Cm7B2TwyDNIzMw

The meeting agenda, including letters and delegation notes in support and opposition to the motions can be downloaded here: https://www.hcdsb.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/BOARD_2021_04_20_REPORT.pdf

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