BC public school board considering ‘homophobia/heterosexism’ policy
BURNABY, British Columbia, April 14, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Board of Education for the Burnaby School District of British Columbia has been moving towards adopting a “Homophobia/Heterosexism” policy that would promote homosexuality and censor all opposition throughout all grade schools, middle schools, and high schools of the Burnaby public school system.
The draft policy, approved by the Board of Trustees February 22, 2011, defines “heterosexism” as a “mistaken assumption” that “all people are heterosexual and that heterosexuality is superior and the norm by which all other sexual orientation and gender identities are measured.” It says it “perpetuates negative stereotypes and is dangerous to individuals and communities.”
An intra-board memo from February indicated that the policy would be presented to the Board for final approval in April. The policy was expected to be adopted at a Board meeting on April 12. However, the agenda and minutes from the meeting make no mention of the policy.
LifeSiteNews contact the Burnaby Board of Education to inquire whether the policy has in fact been approved, but did not hear back by press time. The policy has not yet been posted on the Board of Education website.
The policy, proposing to “support inclusion,” says that teachers will be “encouraged to embed and integrate LGBTQ issues into existing curriculum” as well as “review materials prior to use to identify areas of gender bias.”
During teacher training sessions, the board will “provide and promote opportunities” for teachers to “increase their awareness of the scope and impact of discrimination against LGBTQ people.”
Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) are also highly encouraged: “Where students request and staff are willing to volunteer their time, Gay/Straight Alliance clubs (GSAs) will be encouraged at secondary schools in the district and Diversity clubs will be encouraged for Intermediate students.”
In addition to the inclusion and promotion of homosexual issues in the school curriculum, schools will be required to have strict rules in their code of conduct monitoring “any language or behavior” towards students or staff that indicates “harassment” on the basis of “real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identification.” Any such “hatred, prejudice, discrimination, harassment” will be governed by a no-tolerance mandate.
Concerned pro-family advocates believe the policy not only undermines parental rights in the education of their children, but also threatens to label families and children in the school board “dangerous” for adhering to faith principles that recognize marriage as between one man and one woman.
In a press release from the B.C. Moslim Association (BCMA), the organization said that, while they uphold belief in protecting individuals from discrimination and supporting “legal security and safety for members of the LGBTQ community,” they “strongly disagree with the motion for introducing the suggested policies.”
“We strongly disapprove of and oppose the suggestion of having our children subject to the education … we deem this to be unnecessary and irrelevant to the education we would like our children to receive in public schools,” stated the BCMA.
To force education of the homosexual lifestyle on school children is “out of the cadre of public education,” continued the BCMA. “Receiving education about the details of this lifestyle should be left up to the individual choice of students and parents,” they said.
The Board’s next Policy Committee meeting will be held Monday, April 18, 2011. Board Trustees Tony Coccio, James Wang, and Gary Wong sit on the Policy Committee.
The Burnaby Board of Education draft policy may be viewed here.
Board of Trustees Contact Information:
Larry Hayes (Chair)
Baljinder Narang (Vice-Chair)