Parents rally to support LGBT education in Abbotsford schools

Small demonstration held in the rain to counter anti-SOGI rhetoric

Undeterred by a damp, cool evening, approximately 50 people rallied in favour of inclusivity in Abbotsford schools Tuesday.

The demonstration was organized by BC Parents for Inclusivity in response to recent opposition to provincially mandated anti-bullying policies and education materials relating to sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).

READ: Conservative activists rail against LGBT curriculum in Abbotsford

Ralliers stood in the rain in front of Colleen and Gordie Howe Middle School on Clearbrook Road. They waved to passing cars with signs reading “love wins” and “you can’t fix hate but you can vote it out,” among others.

Opponents to the policies, passed by the Abbotsford school board last February, have called them “brainwashing” that will make more students gay, lesbian and transgender.

READ: New SOGI policies will inform and protect students, LGBT youth say

Colin McKenna, president of PFLAG Vancouver, said the rally was meant to bring attention to the issue and counter misinformation about SOGI 123 education.

“There’s a lot of fear, there’s a lot of misinformation being spread about the curriculum and about the intent,” he said. “What we really want to ensure is [that] people know that LGBTQ people are here, they matter.”

Charlene Ciabarella, whose transgender daughter graduated from the Langley school district, said she wishes the SOGI policies had been in place earlier.

“I think is the SOGI program had been in her kindergarten, grade 1, if she had it growing up, her life would have been completely different … she told me she knew when she was three but she just didn’t know what it was,” Ciabarella said. “She wouldn’t have had to feel like an outsider.”


@KelvinGawley
kelvin.gawley@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey baseball association loses ‘a true giant’ in Bruce Lawson

Longtime volunteer ‘always gave his heart and soul to Surrey Canadian and the game of baseball’

Surrey School District forecasts up to 30 per cent of students will return to class this week

Education Minister Rob Fleming said on June 1, about 60,000 B.C. children returned to school

Clover Valley Beer Festival cancelled

Cloverdale beer fest falls victim to COVID-19

South Surrey’s Darts Hill Garden Park to re-open – by appointment

City of Surrey-run garden will be open to visitors Thursday through Saturday

Surrey Mounties respond to report of shots fired in Cloverdale

They took 12 people into custody but found no evidence shots were actually fired

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

RCMP, coroner investigate ‘unexpected deaths’ on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

B.C. NDP says Andrew Wilkinson is wrong about federal link

Parent, superintendent, trustee report smooth return to classrooms in B.C.

The biggest challenge is convincing families that it’s safe, some say

Two more COVID-19 cases reported by Langley long term care facility

One resident, one staffer have tested positive for the coronavirus

Most Read