BC School Board trustee-candidate conducts ‘homophobia’ presentations without parental notification
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 1, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A homosexual activist running for Trustee on the Vancouver School Board has drawn the attention of parents with children in British Columbia’s public school system for conducting “homophobia” presentations in their children’s classrooms, without parental notification.
A former Salmon Arm, BC student, 24-year-old Ryan Clayton is a homosexual activist who has been hired by various school boards in the Vancouver area to make presentations to Grade 8 and 10 students addressing “homophobia.”
He has been making these presentations with the school boards’ approval since 2008, yet without any type of parental notification.
“This year was the first time they sent a notice home to parents to inform them of it,” Yolanda Jontz, a mother of students in the North Okanagan Shuswap District, told LifeSiteNews.
Canada’s Gay and Lesbian Newspaper, Xtra, described Ryan as an “openly gay education activist.” In a recent interview to mark the launch of his run for School Board Trustee, Ryan told Xtra that he has toured schools with homosexual groups “Gab Youth” and “Out in Schools.” His resume also includes work with Condomania, a Vancouver Coastal Health sex education program, and a position as co-chair of the LGBTQ civic committee.
“Parents are informed that the visitation addresses harassment and discrimination,” said Jontz, however it “really promotes the gay lifestyle and their political agenda by manipulating young people.”
The “emphasis” of the presentation, according to the letter from the Board of Education to parents, was on “building tolerance and understanding in our students.” Families who chose to opt out of the program were asked to contact their school’s principal.
LifeSiteNews contacted Wendy Woodhurst, Director of Instruction for the School Board, to inquire why the Board had waited so long to inform parents of Ryan’s presentations.
In response, Woodhurst assured LSN that Ryan’s presentations, entitled “Building Tolerance and Understanding,” were about “bullying and the importance of acceptance of all individuals.” He was hired by the District in accordance with the School District’s Policy prohibiting “harassment or discrimination or inappropriate behaviour” based on “sexual orientation” among many other areas, she indicated.
“The ‘opt-out’ letters began in 2010 at the request of a small percentage of concerned parents,” Woodhurst told LSN by email.
In his interview with Xtra, Ryan attested that he considers education, such as he conducts, more effective at combating “homophobia” than simply implementing explicit policies. He described the Vancouver School Board “homophobia” policy as “incredible.”
When asked the level of resistance in the province to “queer-friendly curriculum” and “anti-homophobia” policies, Ryan responded: “I haven’t found much resistance, but it does require a certain amount of going in and making sure you understand the concerns of parents, concerns of teachers, concerns of the community.”
Jontz, however, says Ryan has yet to hear criticism because most parents have been completely unaware of his school visits and the actual content of his presentations.
According to students present during Ryan’s presentations, the activist touts the homosexual agenda in the guise of “homophobia” education, including promoting same-sex “marriage” and suggesting that the ban on gay men donating blood is unnecessary since HIV/AIDS is not an issue because active homosexual men use condoms.
Parents attest that Ryan has used peer pressure to have students decide whether they would be supportive if a friend revealed himself or herself as homosexual. On at least one occasion Ryan reportedly asked students to choose a side of the room based on whether they would be supportive, not supportive, or unsure if a friend “came out.”
In a letter to their school principle, expressing why their daughter would be “opting-out” of Ryan’s presentation, Stephen and Yolanda Jontz said they were “completely against bullying and harassment of any kind including that of the homosexual activists towards heterosexuals.”
“Our concerns,” they wrote, “are that these visitations are unnecessary, and under the guise of ‘safety’, homosexuality is being aggressively promoted to our youth.”
“Tolerance is one thing, but to accept and promote dangerous sexual practices as normal and equivalent to traditional monogamous heterosexual relationships is a fatal mistake,” they emphasized, including specific data indicating the harms of a homosexual lifestyle. “By recognizing homosexuals as a special group entitled to special rights and considerations, society is not promoting true tolerance but encouraging a destructive behavior.”
Of particular concern, Yolanda Jontz told LSN, is the fact that Ryan is a candidate for Trustee on the Vancouver School Board.
“I bring a queer focus and a young focus,” Ryan told Xtra of his run for Trustee. “I am confident that I can bring something new and interesting. I bring a perspective that hasn’t been there quite yet [and] I bring a passion and drive to get it done.”
Ryan himself attests that “homophobia” can and should be addressed to all students, including at the elementary school level. “It’s not above students’ capacity to learn about homophobia at that level,” he said.
Jontz asks incredulously, however: “He has no children in the school system, yet he wants to be a Trustee? What is his motive and intention?”
To find out more about Ryan Clayton and his Trustee run, visit his website.
To run for Trustee, Ryan Clayton and other Trustee candidates must be elected at a Nomination Meeting on June 12. To learn more about who can vote and how, visit the Vision Vancouver website.