Letter: Remember that the Langley public school LGBTQ debate is about children

A local mom is concerned about adults trying to impose religion on public school curriculum.

Dear Editor,

Quite frankly, I was alarmed by a lot of the statements made regarding the debate over education about sexual identity and gender identity in Langley schools.

As a non-religious person with kids in the public school system, I struggle with changes made to our curriculum based on religious beliefs. I do not wish to have my children’s education impacted by religion in any way.

There are several faith-based education options for families that wish to have a curriculum that aligns with their belief system. I wouldn’t enroll my children in a Christian middle school and then ask the school to change lesson plans to align with my belief system. I would ask that my family receives the same respect that I give those who do subscribe to various religions.

Aside from these concerns about public school curriculum, there are some very harmful messages being sent that people who identify as LGBTQ are shameful or wanting to recruit our kids. While these parents are attributing these hurtful remarks to their religious beliefs, I ask us all to remember we are speaking about children.

As a heterosexual female, I barely escaped adolescence unscathed and my hearts breaks for the road some of these kids will travel. Not because of their sexual orientation or sexual identity, but because they will no doubt encounter the cruelty expressed during this school board meeting.

Why is it so hard to disagree with someone and yet treat them with the love and respect they deserve? When I encounter someone that believes in a religion I do not, should I treat them horribly? Of course not, I can disagree and yet be happy that this person is living a life that fulfills them. Isn’t that what we all are seeking, to be loved and accepted for who we are?

I asked my son this weekend how this information was presented to his class and how he felt. Did he feel uncomfortable? He didn’t, he said. My 14-year-old son said, it was just an assembly and they played some videos. I would love to hear what all of our kids have to say about this issue.

As adults, I think we need to take a step back and ask ourselves what lessons this behaviour is teaching our kids. Fear leads to hate and I think we are being shown on a daily basis the effects hate has on society. All it takes is five minutes to read a newspaper or scroll through social media, to see we are a society lacking compassion.

Personally, my opinion is that my children’s sexual orientation was decided in the womb and currently we are trying to raise kids that will grow into honest, compassionate and productive members of society.

I guess I’m wanting to fight back a little against the fear presented by those opposed to educating our kids about all aspects of human sexuality. It’s not just about sex, it’s about respecting each other. Just like the fight over bathrooms, isn’t really about bathrooms.

I’m all for each person having an opinion, however, when it encourages discrimination, I cannot keep quiet.

Stacey Wakelin, Langley