New Brunswick Minister of Education, Bill Hogan
There was more big news in New Brunswick yesterday on the “parental rights” issue.
Blaine Higgs’ Education Minister Bill Hogan reaffirmed the current version of New Brunswick education policy 713, which requires “parental permission for teachers to use the preferred name or pronoun of a student under 16, despite policies passed by some district education councils,” according to Global News (“N.B. education minister says teachers will follow provincial policy on pronouns, not DECs”).
This was in response to actions by the Anglophone East and South district education councils (DECs). In June, these two DECs unilaterally passed renewed and strengthened anti-parental rights versions of the original version of Policy 713, which allowed schools not to inform parents of their child’s transitioning at school.
Hogan is, essentially, using his power as Education Minister to veto the renegade actions of these DECs.
“The Education Act is very clear: provincial policy supersedes district policy. Districts have the authority to improve or strengthen a provincial policy, but they can’t do anything that is contrary to the provincial policy,” said Hogan.
“The province’s policy, aged under 16, parental consent is required,” Hogan reaffirmed. “There’s only one policy, the provincial policy.”
Hooray for that!
Keep it up, Minister Hogan and Premier Higgs!
Doubtless the attacks against parental rights will continue, but the parents of New Brunswick, and we at Parents as First Educators (P.A.F.E.) stand with Higgs and Hogan and their efforts to defend parents right to know what is going on with their children.
In another news story related to the coordinated anti-parental rights attack against Higgs, it seems that the internal PC party effort to dethrone Higgs is not going so well.
According to the CBC , Premier Higgs seemingly passed a test of his leadership of the NB Progressive Conservative Party when dissenting PC members failed to raise the necessary support of 26 PC Party riding presidents to trigger a leadership review. (“Push to remove PC leader Blaine Higgs suffers setback”).
President of New Brunswick's Progressive Conservative party, Erika Hachey, announced by internal party email on July 31 that that the number of valid requests from riding presidents came up short at 15.
"The party has ... sought legal advice to determine whether the requests are valid. Following this review, I have determined that the requirements have not been satisfied," Hachey said.
The matter is not completely settled, however, as Hachey also said the deadline to send in requests has been extended until Aug. 19, three weeks before the Sept. 9 New Brunswick PC party provincial council meeting.
I don’t know why Hachey is extending the PC party deadline to accommodate the anti-Higgs faction, but it does seem that the anti-Higgs Tories are not yet done with their shenanigans.
If, somehow, there is a party-wide “leadership review” called against Higgs, P.A.F.E. will be encouraging Higgs’ supporters across New Brunswick to get involved and support the Premier against this anti-parent insurgency.
Regardless of what is happening within the PC Party, PAFE plans to launch a special initiative in the coming weeks to support Premier Higgs and Education Minister Hogan and their efforts to strengthen parental rights in New Brunswick.