A parents group that took root in Langley this fall to promote inclusion and acceptance in schools has gone provincial.
Langley Parents for Inclusivity has been renamed to BC Parents for Inclusivity (BCPI) and part of its efforts include a rally tomorrow (Tuesday, Nov. 21) in neighbouring Abbotsford.
It’s intended to be a “peaceful demonstration to counter anti-SOGI 123 rhetoric,” said group founder Stacey Wakelin.
The event is being organized for families and community members throughout the Fraser Valley, Wakelin said, but it will specifically be held prior to the Abbotsford school board meeting where SOGI 123 is expected to be discussed.
SOGI (sexual orientation and Gender Identity) 123 is the provincially mandated anti-bullying curriculum that supports marginalized LGBTQ+ students, Wakelin said.
“It does not sexualize or indoctrinate children. It is a toolkit for educators to create an inclusive environment where every child feels accepted, respected, and safe (www.sogieducation.org),” she added.
“Parents from across the Fraser Valley are invited to stand together in Abbotsford to show that families of the Lower Mainland are accepting, inclusive, and progressive,” Wakelin added.
“This event is a call to action for everyone who supports the health and safety of all children in the community.”
Langley Parents for Inclusivity was organized in September, in response to negative reactions here from the community to SOGI 123.
Wakelin explains that BCPI consists of parents and community members who stand together to promote inclusive education, and to voice their support for LGBTQ+ youth, and all children who face intolerance or discrimination.
Previous activities include a rally prior to the Langley school board’s September meeting, a presentation at that board meeting, and a SOGI 123 information session in October.
VIDEO: Information sessions (First of two-part video)
VIDEO: Information sessions (Second of two-part video)
Tuesday’s Fraser Valley will rally from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Colleen and Gordie Howe Middle School, 3174 Clearbrook Rd. in Abbotsford. The school board meeting follows at 7 p.m.
“It’s time the majority stood up and said these fringe groups don’t speak for all Langley parents. They seem bigger than they are because they scream louder. If we were all a little more vocal in our support, we could drown out this nonsense pretty quickly,” Langley’s Geraldine McManus said back in September.
There is an anti-SOGI parents’ information meeting the same day ( Nov. 21) in Chilliwack. It will also show support for school board trustee Barry Newman, who posted his opposition to SOGI online.
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