BURNABY, British Columbia, November 18, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Voters in the Canadian city of Burnaby, BC will decide in tomorrow’s election whether or not a group of concerned parents will play a significant role in the education and formation of the district’s school-aged children.
Burnaby Parents’ Voice, a grassroots organization of parents dismayed over the radical direction the Burnaby School District has been taking, have campaigned long and hard to put forward five candidates for the 7-seat School Trustee board.
“What is at stake is that the Burnaby School District does not believe that parents are the primary educators of their kids. This is the main problem that we are confronting,” said Gordon World, one of the five Parents’ Voice candidates in an interview today with LifeSiteNews (LSN).
The group of concerned parents have had to overcome one difficult hurdle after another to get their political campaign off the ground. World calls their current momentum “exciting.”
“We had to set up a political party from scratch. The City Hall was doing everything to prevent us from setting it up, until we had our lawyers get involved. It’s been a minor miracle to pull this whole thing together.”
World told LSN that their opponents’ campaign has “focused on attacking Burnaby Parents’ Voice,” pointing out that their own election signs have been “vandalized and stolen by the dozens.”
“If we didn’t have to deal with all the continual slander and attacks, we could actually concentrate on the campaign.”
Trustees nominated by Parents’ Voice say that if elected, they would seek to redress the debacle created by the “homophobia/heterosexism” policy 5.45 that railroaded the homosexual agenda into their school district. They have campaigned for a “holistic approach” that gets to the “roots of bullying and self-harm” rather than the enactment of exclusive policies for a select minority.
Most importantly, the nominated trustees say, is that they would “ensure respect for parental authority.”
Two days ago, attacks against members and supporters of the Parents’ Voice reached such heights that the group filed a formal complaint with the BC Court of Human Rights, hoping to “stop the hate and bullying,” World told LSN.
One group mentioned in the complaint is Pink Triangle Press, a media organization that, according to their website, advances the “struggle” for lesbian and gay “sexual liberation.”
Charter Lau, one of the five Burnaby Parents’ Voice candidates, who himself has been a victim of verbal attacks, highlighted in a press release on Wednesday the “need” to protect all children and families from “bullying and hate speech.”
“As we have not seen any actions from the current [Burnaby] Trustees to stop the hate speech, we are being proactive,” said Lau, adding that he will not be bullied into silence by those seeking to use the province’s institutions of education for “political and exclusionary purposes.”
Opposing school trustee candidate, Ron Burton, nominated by the Burnaby Citizens Association, went so far as to say that parents with beliefs contrary to those endorsed by the current school administration should “send their children to private school where their beliefs will be better accommodated,” reported The Peak, Simon Fraser University’s student newspaper.
Parents’ Voice candidate Homara Ahmad criticized Burton’s position saying that “children should not be compelled to leave Burnaby public schools because their beliefs do not conform with Ron Burton’s beliefs or the beliefs of any other elected official.”
“If we can get our people out to vote, we can win,” said World.
Heather Leung, President of Burnaby Parents’ Voice, emphasized, “By voting for Burnaby Parents’ Voice, you are voting for safe schools, respectful learning environments, and quality education for all students; a school district where every student is valued, teachers are responsible and appreciated and parents are recognized and respected as the primary educator of their children.”
The five Burnaby Parents’ Voice candidates—Homara Ahmad, Charter Lau, Helen Ward, Gordon World, and Long Xue—have pledged to all parents in the school’s district to “work to protect” Burnaby children and to “assert the authority of parents over [their] children’s education.”
Click here for Voting information.
To contact Parents’ Voice
Ph: (604) 800-1318
E-mail: [email protected]