Burnaby parents fight back against homophobia policy, nominate five school trustees
BURNABY, British Columbia, November 9, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Parents in Burnaby, British Columbia concerned about the radical direction the Burnaby School District has been taking have banded together to bring change to the district. The group of parents, united under the name Burnaby Parents’ Voice (BPV) has nominated five candidates for the 7-seat board of trustees in the upcoming election.
The election will take place Saturday, November 19th.
“This is about parental rights, parental control coming back into the school,” said Kari Simpson, President of Culture Guard, while interviewing two of the BPV trustee candidates on Roadkill Radio last night.
Burnaby Parents’ Voice came into existence in May of this year to connect and inform parents who were troubled about the draft — and subsequent ramming through — of the “homophobia/heterosexism” Policy 5.45 that blatantly promoted homosexuality to children attending Burnaby schools.
These parents did not swallow the argument of the School Trustees that the policy merely ensured a safe and caring environment in Burnaby schools.
Gordon World, a BPV trustee candidate, told LifeSiteNews (LSN) that setting up a political party with a platform and policies in less than five months has been a “minor miracle.”
World said that one of the core pillars of the BPV platform is “Environment of Respect,” adding that it is this part of the platform that addresses the concerns that parents had with Policy 5.45.
Parents’ Voice says that, if elected, its trustees would seek to redress the debacle created by the “homophobia/heterosexism” policy by using a “holistic approach” that gets to the “roots of bullying and self-harm.”
In this approach, school staff would be required to “intervene to stop unacceptable behaviour and language” while at the same time acknowledging the “diversity of belief in a pluralistic democracy.”
According to Parents’ Voice, future policies would also be based on peer-reviewed research, not on ideologically driven programs concocted by radical activists.
Most importantly, they say, the trustees would “ensure respect for parental authority.”
George Kovacic, a founding member of BPV, told LSN that their “biggest problem” right now is that “our supporters general don’t vote,” adding that some of their staunchest supporters, especially those from certain Asian communities, have never voted before.
To address this issue, BPV has commenced what Kovacic called an “incredible education campaign.” The campaign clearly outlines the voting procedure for first time voters, while encouraging them to vote for the BPV trustee candidates.
The BPV voting campaign is also encouraging BPV supporters to vote early in the advance polls, which take place today from 8am to 8pm at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, 6450 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby.
The election campaign recently heated up after a Burnaby teacher made public a death threat that had been sent anonymously last June. The threat stated that Policy 5.45 must immediately be withdrawn, and declared, “You are our enemy!” and “You will be shot!”
Kovacic has denounced the death threat, saying that Burnaby Parents’ Voice had “nothing to do with it.”
“Of course,” he mused, “it comes out in the election campaign.”
To affirm their commitment to peaceful dialogue, BPV has invited all Burnaby trustee and councilor candidates to join them in publicly denouncing “all forms of hate and threats.” So far, three candidates have accepted their invitation.
The five BPV candidates—Homara Ahmad, Charter Lau, Helen Ward, Gordon World, and Long Xue—have pledged to all parents to “work to protect” Burnaby children and to “assert the authority of parents over [their] children’s education.”
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