Ontario school board considers flying pro-LGBT ‘pride’ flag against policy
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, May 11, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Toronto-area school district is entertaining a request to fly rainbow flags at its Catholic schools to coincide with June’s pro-homosexual “Pride Month.” This comes despite existing policy allowing only the national and provintial flags to be flown at schools.
The Peel District School Board heard arguments concerning a request from the gay lobbying group Pride Employee Resource Group (PERG) during its Tuesday meeting, the Toronto Star reports. Pro-homosexual activists reportedly filled the chamber with people wearing pink shirts to visualize support for the flag.
The district’s current policy is that only the Canadian or Ontario flags may be flown at any of its 257 schools. But PERG’s Carol Speers, who is also a retired superintendent, argued that Peel should follow in the footsteps of Toronto, Durham, Halton, and York to signal safety and welcomeness to LGBT staff and students.
The board heard a great number of emotional appeals in favor of the flag, including from a transgender student, a teacher who says she contemplated suicide as a teenager because she didn’t feel accepted, and a man who said his two young children had been bullied for having “two dads.”
“This is an equity issue,” Speers argued. “We have a reason to have the flag raised.” She also complained that PERG’s request, which was originally made last year, has taken so long to receive a hearing. "We understood that this process was occurring through the fall, and for some reason it has gotten stalled."
But now that the proposal has received attention, the board is signaling that it’s all-but guaranteed.
School board chair Janet McDougald called the pro-LGBT testimony “very compelling,” and suggested the only remaining “process” obstacle was the question of whether flying the rainbow flag would obligate the board to accept flags from other groups. “It wasn’t about whether we agreed or not, it was about how do we do this,” she stressed.
Board trustee Robert Crocker claimed that out of all the emails and tweets he’s received from constituents and employees, "every single one has been...asking us to raise the Pride flag."
However, community feedback on social media is a different story. On the Facebook post for the Mississauga-based Brampton Guardian’s coverage of the story, most of the reactions were negative.
“No this isn't an equality issue,” one reader wrote. “There isn't a heterosexual flag. So why in the world would they need to fly this?” Others called it “nonsense,” “liberal propaganda,” and a “battle cry for weak liberals.”
“Doesn't the Canadian flag cover everyone from all walks of life?” a community member asked. “Stop trying to appease everyone who complains.” Another reader wondered why “entertain a flag that represents sexual preference” after “we have removed prayer” from schools.
“We don’t want that here,” another outraged community member said. “Leave our kids alone and stop trying to turn them out!”
Regardless, as a further indicator of the district’s likelihood of flying the flag, on Thursday its website announced that Peel Alternative School South staff and students would participate in a ceremony to “unveil the first-ever piece of LGBTQ+ art for public space under the City of Mississauga's Beautification Program.”
Pro-LGBT indoctrination has been an ongoing concern for many parents with children in Canadian public schools. Last fall, the Ontario Court of Appeal rejected Greek Orthodox father Steve Tourloukis’s argument that as a parent he was entitled to advance notice on class lessons on topics such as homosexuality and gender identity. Ontario’s Liberal government has also implemented a sex education curriculum that teaches there are six different genders and introduces the subjects of homosexuality and “gender identity” as early as Grade 3.
The school board says it will announce its final decision on May 22.