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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.

This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Supreme Court won't hear appeal of private school that wouldn't let Muslim students pray

Supreme Court won't hear appeal of private school that wouldn't let Muslim students pray

“Calgary's Webber Academy launched appeal after it was fined $26,000 in 2015

A brick school behind a fence that reads "Webber Academy."
Webber Academy, found to have discriminated against two Muslim students who were not permitted to pray on campus, has been fighting the findings of the Alberta Human Rights Commission (HRC) and the courts for the past 12 years. (CBC)

The country's top court has declined to hear the appeal of a private Calgary school that was found to have discriminated against two Muslim students who were denied prayer space on campus.

The Supreme Court of Canada's ruling Thursday ends a 12-year legal battle to overturn an Alberta Human Rights Commission (HRC) decision that resulted in a $26,000 fine against Webber Academy.

As is the SCC's practice, no reasons were given for the court's refusal to hear the appeal. 

In an email to CBC News, Webber Academy president Neil Webber offered a brief comment in reaction to the court's decision. 

"The decision is very disappointing, but I want to thank all those who supported us over the 12 years the case has been before Alberta courts," wrote Webber. 

The non-denominational school argued that providing prayer space threatened the secular environment. 

This argument was advanced despite Webber Academy displaying a Christmas tree every year in the school. 

President terminates prayers

The dispute began in 2011.

On Dec. 1 that year, two 14-year-old students enrolled at Webber Academy.

Sarmad Amir and Naman Siddique are practising Sunni Muslims who were in Grades 9 and 10 at the time. 

For their first two weeks at the school, different staff members found empty classrooms and office space so the students could perform their prayers.

But 17 days into their enrolment at the school, president Neil Webber learned that the students were praying on campus and contacted their parents to advise them the practice would no longer be allowed. 

The parents asked the president to reconsider. 

Webber then informed the families that the boys would be allowed to pray on campus only if they didn't bow or kneel so no observer would know prayer was occurring

Alternatively, said Webber, the students could pray off campus.

Webber fined $26,000 

The president also informed the two families that the students would not be allowed to attend the school the following year.

The school refused to back down despite written requests from the boys' parents, stating that the school's non-denominational status was an integral part of its character.

In February 2012, the students' parents filed complaints with the Human Rights Commission on their sons' behalf. 

The HRC ruled in favour of the two families and awarded the complainants $26,000 in damages.

Webber Academy unsuccessfully appealed to Alberta's superior court and then to the Alberta Court of Appeal. It sent the matter back to the commission to hear the case again in light of the school raising new issues that had not previously been considered by the tribunal or lower courts. 

Non-denominational policy 'not affected'

Again, the HRC found in favour of the students.

And again, the school appealed.

The Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta, as it was known then, dismissed Webber Academy's appeal.

Last year, the Alberta Court of Appeal also refused to overturn the human rights finding.

"Webber Academy's non-denominational policy is not affected by providing the students with access to quiet, private space to pray," wrote the Alberta Court of Appeal in its 2023 decision.

"In our view, it cannot reasonably be suggested that Webber Academy is endorsing any religion or religious practice, and should not be seen to be doing so, simply by providing such accommodation."


Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary crime reporter

Meghan Grant is a justice affairs reporter. She has been covering courts, crime and stories of police accountability in southern Alberta for more than a decade. Send Meghan a story tip at or follow her on Twitter.“

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