The Lord's Prayer still welcome in Manitoba school

By Rhonda Thiessen
Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

"Please stand for ‘O Canada,' scripture and prayer."

Those are the words that Garden Valley Collegiate students hear over the school intercom each morning. While Christian prayer in a public schools is sometimes a controversial subject and many schools across Canada are not promoting it, it has active support from most students at GVC.

Karl Redekop, the high school's principal, says that six years ago, each parent in the school division had to bring to the school a signed paper indicating they wanted their child to participate in this religious activity. To simplify things for parents and the school board, the question is now included on each student's registration form.

Redekop says in his time as principal at GVC, he has yet to see a unsigned form. This indicates that parents want their children involved in the morning prayer and Bible readings. The community values and school values are tightly meshed together, Redekop says.

This religious orientation can be seen in the high school's vision statement, which says: "GVC will be a learning community which offers hope to the learner and focuses on the whole person. We will promote an environment which natures the joy of learning in a atmosphere reflecting the Christian values of mutual caring, respect and appreciation for individual difference....."

In an informal poll of 20 students, 17 students said they supported having the Lord's prayer and Bible reading as part of the morning exercises and three indicated they did not care one way or the other. The majority support of students reflects the Christian values of their community and parents.


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