EDMONTON, Alberta, 23 November, 2012 ( – Alberta parents who support traditional values are breathing a sigh of relief after the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) rejected a proposal calling for policies to deal with an alleged “pervasive school-wide culture of homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism”.

Sixty-two percent of the boards voted to reject the proposal at the ASBA fall meeting held on Monday.

The motion would have added language specifically singling out gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender students to an already existing anti-bullying policy.

Jacquie Hansen, president of the Alberta School Boards Association, said that the majority of trustees rejected the policy over concerns that it unnecessarily focused on a certain group of students.

“The feeling in the room was we’d rather have a policy for all kids and that bullying shouldn’t be tolerated no matter who you are or what you have to deal with in your world.”

She called media reaction to the motion’s rejection “unfortunate,” adding that “this is being seen as anti-gay and that’s not what this is about.”

“This is about policy and this is how to best protect our kids,” she said.

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Hansen pointed out that trustees had voted earlier in the day to accept a motion that promotes “equality of opportunity, dignity and respect” for all.

Garnett Genuis, Executive Director of Parents for Choice in Education, said that while he supports “efforts to combat bullying of all individuals,” he felt that the motion “did not contain the appropriate safeguards to ensure that faith-based schools and programs would be able to continue to teach their teachings.”

Canada Family Action (CFA), which mobilized opposition to the motion, had stated that the educational bureaucracy’s constant focus on homosexual and other sexual “orientations” was creating division and conflict rather than the “safe schools” environment they envision.

Brian Rushfeldt, CFA’s Executive Director, had stressed that school policies that do not treat all children equal result in “divisive policies which set children up for discrimination.”

He noted that under such policies, children who “do not cater to or agree with homosexual behavior have become targets” for discrimination. “That defeats what education experts say they want to accomplish.

“The real purpose of such LBGT policy is to promote every sexual behavior except normal heterosexual behavior,” he said.