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Anti-SOGI inaccuracies frustrating to Kelowna school trustee

Protest comments called ‘dangerous and hurtful’
Participants expressing their views at the 1 Million March 4 Children protest held Sept. 20 at Stuart Park, part of a nation-wide initiative calling or greater involvement from parents in education policy decisions. (File photo)

The negative residue from the protest continued to linger over the Central Okanagan Board of Education meeting Wednesday, Sept. 20.

In the trustee queries/comments segment of the meeting, two trustees spoke about the fallout from the 1 Million March 4 Children protest held Sept. 20 at Stuart Park.

Trustee Wayne Broughton voiced his disappointment at what he called frightening confrontational scenes played out at the protest based largely on misinformation about the role public schools play in both the influence of gender and sexual identity of students and the application of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) 123 program.

Broughton said comments voiced at the protest and online opinions expressed in the aftermath of the protest were disheartening.

“A lot of those comments were dangerous and hurtful, and just don’t reflect the truth,” Broughton said.

“And those things being said have consequences. We have disagreements on our board about (LGBTQIA+) and SOGI issues, but we all know the misinformation being spread around is just not true.”

Broughton suggested that trustees put out a joint public statement acknowledging the inaccurate criticism directed at public schools and specifically about SOGI 123.

Trustee Julia Fraser also commented on the protest, saying she was heartened to see the school district issue a statement that was also supported by teachers, support staff and parent advisory councils.

“I believe education about these issues is the pathway to greater understanding,” Fraser said.

READ MORE: Police investigate apparent Nazi salute at Kelowna anti-SOGI march

Barry Gerding

About the Author: Barry Gerding

Senior regional reporter for Black Press Media in the Okanagan. I have been a journalist in the B.C. community newspaper field for 37 years...
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