A school board in Ontario is being subjected to a human rights complaint. This comes after a Canadian man has taken issue with the fact that the school has a Christian life center as well as a close relationship with the Habitat for Humanity organization. Specifically, Rene Chouinard says that the school is supporting Christianity by showing a preference for the religion at its facilities as well as in their support of Christian organizations.
Favoritism For Christians?
The school that has been brought into question by Rene Chouinard is Eden High School, which is located in the St. Catharines area of Ontario. He alleges that the close relationship with the Spiritual Life Centre makes Christianity seem to be the norm, while not making any provisions for non-believers. The school has made no attempt to hide its relationship with the Spiritual Life Centre and still has a section on their website that is dedicated to informing visitors about it.
Eden High School described the centre as a “meaningful program to assist in the development and support of Eden’s students through a rich array of life activities.” With the school willingly recommending that the centre as a positive resource for the students, the mission statement of the Spiritual Life Centre has become the source of Chouinard’s issue with the school. From their website, the centre says their goal is “leading students to learn of Christ and live for Christ.”
Human Rights Violation
Rene Chouinard is no stranger to filing suits against religious organizations. In 2013, he took the school board before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario over the fact that they were distributing Gideon Bibles. The tribunal ruled in his favor in that case, and now they are poised to hear the demands that he is making for the school board.
Chouinard says that his children are being indoctrinated by the school to think that Christianity is the norm and that a secular approach to life is wrong. As a result, he is demanding that the school board compensate him $50,000 so that he can promote the idea of secular humanism within his community. Moreover, he would like the school to sever ties with the Spiritual Life Centre as well as with Habitat for Humanity. While he believes that he will be successful in this endeavor, Eden High School has noted that all of these facilities are considered extracurricular activities and are only endorsed as such. The tribunal has not set a date for the hearing, but many news and religious organizations are keeping a close eye on the outcome.