Re: Your editorial: Reverse School Board Decision, Oct. 19.

I am surprised you would express the hope that the province will force the local Catholic school board to allow this vaccine to be distributed on its premises. This would be an unjustified intrusion on the part of the province into the affairs of a duly-elected local body.

As a matter of civil rights and indeed of constitutional law, Catholic school trustees have the right to decide whether the Gardasil vaccine will be administered on school property. As the bishops of Ontario remind us, parents have the final decision on whether their daughters should receive this vaccine. It is true that other Catholic boards have decided this principle can be upheld with the vaccine administered in school, but this does not negate the right of any school board to hold an open vote and choose not to participate. As Dr. Lukenda points out in his letter, there have been numerous questions raised about this vaccine, not all of them moral or religious.

Parents have numerous avenues available to them if they believe their elected trustees have made the wrong decision, just as they would if the decision had gone the other way. Inviting the province to reverse the decision of elected local trustees would set a bad precedent for school board governance.

Joanne McGarry

Executive Director

Catholic Civil Rights League

– Sault Star, Sault Ste Marie, Ont., October 25
(League letter in response to local reaction to Catholic School Board’s decision not to have the Gardasil vaccine administered on its property)