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

Chilliwack man pleads guilty to violent assault of elderly man in Abbotsford

Victim, 85, attacked while waiting at bus stop in November 2019

Staff shortages plague Mission Institution following recovery from COVID-19 outbreak

Guards at 60% of workforce; inmates suffer daily with lockdown, mental health issues

Conair in Abbotsford donates $22,000 to Crystal Gala Foundation

Company challenges others to support foundation during COVID-19 pandemic

Long-term planning for jewel known as Vedder Greenway starts with survey

It’s the most popular trail system in Chilliwack with a half million local and LM users each year

Westbound Highway 1 stall in Langley blocking left lane

Congestion starting at 264th Street, crews on scene

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Lessons from a pandemic: How to design a nursing home that’s safe and love-filled

A look at how one care home is battling the pandemic with the social needs of the elderly in their care

Winter tires, chains now mandatory along most B.C. highways

Drivers without the proper winter tires – which must also be in good condition – can be fined $109

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

First Nations Health Authority chief medical officer concerned with rising COVID-19 cases

“There’s still so much we don’t know and we’re learning everyday about this particular virus.”

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Most Read