Langley School District has created a top 10 Q & A for parents who want answers about SOGI education. (Langley Times file photo)

Chilliwack school district posts plan for sexual orientation talks

Issue kicked off by earlier Facebook post from trustee Neufeld

The discussion on gender identity in Chilliwack is far from over.

The school district is under the spotlight following a public statement by a long-time school board trustee, slamming sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) curriculum that is now available to all teachers in the province.

That trustee, Barry Neufeld, has not responded to a request to speak about his views, but he did issue an apology two days after he posted a rant on his Facebook page.

In the original post, he commended Russia and Paraguay for their strength in fighting “cultural nihilists.” He likened gender identity acceptance to child abuse, and made it clear he is supporter of “traditional family values.”

In his apology two days later to those who may have been hurt by his words, he said that more discussion still needed to be had surrounding SOGI.

READ: Educators speak out against Chilliwack school trustee’s anti-LGBTQ post

Now, the Chilliwack School District has published a PowerPoint presentation on their website that spells out the district’s planned implementation of SOGI in schools. That report likely will be a part of the superintendent’s report at the Nov. 7 public meeting.

“We strongly believe that our schools need to be safe and welcoming places for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion or background, and that everyone deserves to be welcomed, included and respected in a safe learning environment while being fully and completely themselves,” it says.

That includes “all individuals regardless of where they identify on the sexual orientation or gender identity spectrums, including but not limited to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, heterosexual, pansexual and cisgender.”

“Sexual orientation and gender identity” (SOGI) is a term used by the BC Human Rights Code to describe an area of prohibited discrimination, the presentation reminds the viewer. However a group that is backing Neufeld’s initial statement, called the Culture Guard, is committed to shouting down SOGI and fighting for what they feel are Canada’s values.

They have been holding meetings across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley to garner support for their anti-SOGI movement, led by Kari Simpson.

They have not held a public event in Chilliwack to date. But while Neufeld has apologized for hurting people with his comments, the Culture Guard has latched onto his words.

In a petition of support they are publicizing, they say, “Let’s send a clear message to the radical left-wing sex activists within the BCTF: that they don’t get to abuse our children and the public education system for their political agenda.”

The presentation on the Chilliwack School District website clears up some of the statements made by Culture Guard.

The main point is that there is “no separate and distinct SOGI program or curriculum. Sexual orientation and gender identity are important topics that are interwoven through several curriculum areas, most notably, physical and health education, language arts and social studies.”

It gives a timeline for discussions to come over the next year, beginning with an update to the board regarding Strategic Planning and SOGI, curriculum connections and resources this fall.

The discussion will continue to refer back to the Safe School Policy and be in partnership with the Ministry of Education. For those with more questions, the school district points to a website created by the Langley School District.

READ: Langley school district answers top 10 parents’ questions about SOGI education

SOGI PowerPoint Presentation by Jess Peters on Scribd


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Langley ball hockey group rounding up equipment

A new initiative will help provide equipment for families facing financial hardship.

Clayton Community Farmer’s Market set to start this summer

Vendors, buskers, food trucks and volunteers welcome to apply

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Sexsmith set to suit up for Giants

Vancouver signs ninth overall pick in 2017 WHL bantam draft

Women’s March Canada Fraser Valley slated for Saturday morning

It’s a march for women’s rights and social justice for the most marginalized

Police investigate sexual assault of teen girl on Abbotsford school grounds

Incident occurred Wednesday night on elementary school grounds

B.C. man, 21, accused of impersonating a police officer

Arrest warrant issued for Surrey man after two women in a vehicle in Langley chased by fake cop car

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Former B.C. fire chief gets seven months for possession of child porn

The 63-year-old pleaded guilty during a brief hearing last year to one count

Most Read