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.

Just Posted

ELECTION 18: Langley Township, you chose Jack Froese for mayor

Township voters went with a familiar face, handing incumbent a third term as mayor

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Who won and who didn’t in the Lower Mainland votes

A look at the regionā€™s mayoral races, starting with Doug McCallum coming back to win in Surrey

Celebrating Halloween in the horse capital of B.C.

Langley riders event features riders and horses in costumes

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Fraser Valley man dead after head on crash in Okanagan

Accident occurred at about 7:35 a.m.

Newly-elected Lower Mainland mayor won’t drink his city’s tap water

White Rockā€™s Darryl Walker is concerned about its quality

Kennedy Stewart challenged with building bridges as mayor of Vancouver: expert

The former NDP MP, who ran as an Independent, will lead 10 councillors divided across four parties

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ā€˜makes it personalā€™

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

Vancouver drag queens receive royal treatment during Kootenay Pride

Vancouver drag queens discuss the importance of Pride and growing acceptance of LGBTQ community

Most Read