Jan Buterman, who worked as a substitute teacher for about six months, was removed from the Greater St. Albert Catholic school board’s substitute teacher list last year.
Born as a woman, Buterman is going though a sex change and was removed from the list after telling the school board he had gender identity disorder.
A letter from the board explained the move, saying a gender change goes against the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
Catholic education is paid by tax payers who allocate their portion of municipal education taxes to be directed towards either the public or Catholic school board. Although many argue that this allocation makes the Catholic school board a private matter with private donations – where the tenets of faith can trump policies acceptable in the public system – the diversion of funds from the public system makes the Catholic school board a de facto publicly funded private and religious provincial school system.
Should the Catholic school board be allowed to discriminate against an individual College-certified teacher on the basis of gender out of respect for the tenets of today’s Catholic faith? If one dares to criticize the Catholic school board’s decision, isn’t one exposing the board members to some level of contempt on the prohibited basis of their identity with the religion of Catholicism and be sanctioned by the Canadian and/or provincial Human Rights Commission? Such is the sad state of freedom of expression in today’s Canada: we allow one form of active discrimination to harm a real person in the name of protecting those who practice their religious beliefs that do the actual and harmful discriminating. Go figure.
Buterman’s solution? File a complaint with the provincial Human Rights Commission! This should be good.