"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
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
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.