Fraser Valley – BC Teachers Federation President Clint Johnson, penned and released an open letter to the Premier Davis Eby and others, over concerns of anti-SOGI rallies on Wednesday September 20.
In the Valley, this includes Chilliwack. Former Trustee Barry Neufeld had posted it on his Facebook page (and it has since disappeared). The march is expected to start at 9 AM at the Coliseum and move to Five Corners by Noon. There are social media postings of a possible counter protest.
From the BCTF X account – Homophobia and transphobia have no place in our communities. Marches, online attacks, regressive political movements, and other campaigns of hate and disinformation are threatening the rights and well-being of our LGBTQ2S+ community members.
The September 8 letter in full:
The BC Teachers’ Federation is calling BC’s political leaders to unite across party lines in a show of public support for safe and inclusive schools. Please see below for President Clint Johnston’s letter to Premier David Eby, BC United Leader Kevin Falcon, and BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau.
September 8, 2023
Honourable David Eby, Premier
Kevin Falcon, BC United Leader
Sonia Furstenau, Green Party Leader
Subject: Joint support for inclusive schools in response to hate-fuelled marches
Dear Premier and Opposition Party Leaders:
It has come to the attention of the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) that planning is underway for marches in cities and towns across BC on September 20, as part of a co-ordinated attack on LGBTQ2S+ community members. These rallies are part of a movement across North America that uses “parental consent” as a dog whistle for rising homophobia and transphobia. This movement is concerning and must be stopped.
Teachers and school staff have stood up time and again in defense of resources designed to ensure all families are reflected in school materials and all students and staff are protected from discrimination at school. However, they cannot keep bearing the brunt of these misguided attacks and campaigns of disinformation against a curriculum and school resources that all BC parties support.
The BCTF is calling on all three major parties in BC to stand together against hate and in unequivocal support of SOGI resources and inclusive schools.
SOGI-inclusive education was introduced by a BC Liberal government and has been supported by successive NDP governments, as well as the Green Party opposition. Your collective support for inclusive education is meaningful and necessary now more than ever.
While we do not wish to give this ignorant campaign a platform or undeserved attention, we do believe that public statements of support for inclusive schools would go a long way to countering their harmful narratives.
Currently, we are aware of events planned in the following communities, however, the list is growing:
- Prince George
- Salmon Arm
Our school communities, particularly our LGBTQ2S+ members facing personal attacks, need to see politicians supporting schools. Our kids, staff, and families deserve to feel safe and protected.
cc: Honourable Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Child Care
Elenore Sturko, Shadow Minister for Education, BC United
Lorne Doerkson, Caucus Chair, BC United
Nicholas Simons, Caucus Chair, NDP
Adam Olsen, House Leader, Green Party
Reg Krake, Executive Director, ARC Foundation