Canada May Pull Religion out of Newfoundland's Classrooms

By Mark Clayton, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, November 29, 1995 | Go to article overview

Canada May Pull Religion out of Newfoundland's Classrooms


Mark Clayton, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


THERE is no question who the supreme authority is in Karen Regular's first-grade classroom, where youngsters watch a video of a squeaky-voiced puppet tell them: "He's got the whole world in His hands."

Nor in Betty Lou Slade's fourth- grade class, where lettering over a chalkboard reads: "Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us."

Welcome to the Eugene Vaters Pentecostal Academy, a K-6 school with 346 students in St. John's, Newfoundland's capital. Like all schools here, Vaters is both religious and fully funded by taxpayers.

As debate rises in the United States over the merits of such funding, Newfoundland's all-church-run school system, which has existed for nearly three centuries, is about to see historic change in the opposite direction.

Amid a fusillade of accusations by church groups that their rights are about to be trampled, the Canadian Parliament will debate in coming weeks the Newfoundland government's call to revoke the constitutional provision that established Newfoundland's denominational school system.

"Our fear is that if government has its way today, and our school goes purely public, someone's going to come here {whose parents} object to Christianity in any form," says Byron Head, principal at Eugene Vaters Pentecostal Academy. "In the US {public schools} lost the Lord's Prayer that way."

Newfoundland's system is unique in Canada. The province sets educational standards and pays the costs, but seven denominations manage and operate schools. By contrast, the constitutional church-state separation in the US prevents government from funding religious schools.

Newfoundland's denominational system was written into the Canadian Constitution when Newfoundland joined the Canadian federation in 1949. To change it requires a constitutional amendment. Led by Premier Clyde Wells, the provincial legislature Oct. 31 voted 31 to 20 to seek an amendment. That led to the Canadian Parliament's deliberations.

But before it sought the change, the provincial government won popular backing for school reform when Newfoundlanders voted 54 to 46 percent in a September referendum to remove the right of provincial churches to build and operate publicly funded schools.

In the weeks leading up to the historic vote, Protestants and Roman Catholics fought the reform in an unusual display of unity.

"We see this as a direct attack on minority rights," says Gerald Fallon, executive director of the Catholic Education Council in St. John's. "Never in the history of Canada has the government taken away minority rights."

The province says it can save C$30 million {US$22 million} annually by replacing the province's 27 school boards, operated by the Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, and five other denominations, with 10 interdenominational boards.

But church groups are adamant that the provincial government's move is really aimed at stripping churches of their constitutional rights and replacing religious-based schools with secular ones. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Canada May Pull Religion out of Newfoundland's Classrooms
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.