Man trying to get daughter exempted from religion class at Catholic school

(QMI Agency file photo)

(QMI Agency file photo)

Jane Sims, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:17 AM ET

LONDON, Ont. -- With three weeks before the school year begins, Sam Dias is still trying to get his daughter a pass from a Catholic high school's mandatory religion class.

The family is not religious. His daughter, who is starting Grade 9, isn't interested in taking the classes and would rather take another credit.

But even though a court decision allows some exemptions, it looks like the chances Dias's daughter can get an exemption from taking the religion course in London, Ont., arenft good.

A decision by the Ontario divisional court last spring involving the Peel Dufferin Catholic school board upheld a decision that non-Catholics can be exempted from Catholic high school religion classes, retreats and liturgies.

Dias said he and his immediate family, all baptized Catholics, are infrequent, if ever, church attendees. He said his daughter wants to attend St. Andre Bessette secondary school with her elementary school friends, but isn't interested in a course each year in religion.

Knowing that some boards will give exemptions to public school rate payers, Dias said he told the London District Catholic school board in a letter last week he's declared himself a public school supporter.

He said he's waiting for a response.

Dias is convinced the board is trying to dissuade him by stalling.

"I think this is one of their tactics. They're essentially trying to get me to go away by giving me different excuses."


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