Kari Simpson, seen here at an anti-SOGI rally. (Black Press Digital)

B.C. parents riled after son’s Halloween photos used in anti-SOGI speech

Culture Guard’s Kari Simpson has been using a former student’s photo in presentations.

A controversial Langley anti-SOGI activist used photos of a former Langley student in a presentation, incorrectly claiming students were “in drag” frequently in B.C. schools.

Kari Simpson of Culture Guard gave a presentation in Coquitlam Wednesday. It was recorded on the group’s Facebook Page.

Simpson used the photos of at least two students from a Langley high school in the presentation.

“This is how they go to school,” Simpson told her audience, incorrectly claiming that there are no longer dress codes in schools.

“If they want to dress up in drag, as drag queens, they’re allowed to,” she said. “Every day.”

Simpson told the Advance the photos were used with permission.

“Actually I talked to one of the kids months ago about the posting, and he said, ‘Go ahead, do whatever,’” Simpson said.

The conversation came in the context of a dispute on social media between the student and another person.

The former student’s parents are upset about the inclusion of the photos in the Culture Guard presentation. They were contacted by a teacher at the school who had seen one of the Culture Guard presentations that included the photos.

“She [Simpson] takes a lot of things out of context,” said Cliff Empey, the father of Cameron, one of the students in the photos.

“I’m kind of outraged,” said Cathy Empey, the student’s mother.

One of the pictures was taken on Halloween, and the other was taken at a Pride event, Cathy said.

“They don’t dress like that at school,” she said.

The Empeys are calling for Simpson to stop using the photos and to issue a public apology.

“We’re looking into the lawyer route,” said Cathy.

The family supports the SOGI 123 program and has spoken to B.C. Parents for Inclusivity, a local group founded by Stacey Wakelin about the issue.

Simpson was asked if she knew the photos were from Hallowe’en.

“That’s not what I understand,” Simpson said. “And regardless, it’s not what schools are for.”

She said she’s had no contact with the student or family since her video was posted.

Langley School District does have a dress code, referred to as “dress guidelines” on the district’s website.

“Clothing should demonstrate a respect for the school community,” the guidelines read in part. “Clothing should meet standards of suitability that are typical of an office workplace and should not be offensive to others.”

The guidelines also ban any clothing that promotes alcohol or drugs, encourages sexism, racism or bigotry, and bears direct or indirect messages related to violence, gang culture, sex, or pornography.

The district’s code of conduct also forbids “discriminatory conduct on the basis of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, political beliefs, and age.”

“Discriminatory conduct includes publishing or displaying anything that could discriminate against another based on accommodation, service and facility, or expose them to contempt or ridicule, on the basis of the above grounds,” says the code of conduct.

The presentation focused on Simpson’s claims about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI123) a set of materials in use by B.C. schools.

Simpson and her conservative group have protested against SOGI numerous times around the Lower Mainland and farther afield around the province.

She recently claimed to have invited the Hells Angels to an anti-SOGI protest in Vancouver, saying members of the outlaw motorcycle gang were parents too.

READ MORE: Hells Angels invited to rally by anti-SOGI organizer

Just Posted

Fifth annual cycling celebration in Summerland

District says its time to go all out for cycling week

Keeping track of bats

Seeking bat colonies and volunteers for B.C. bat counts

Airbnb hosts earning millions in the Okanagan

The Okanagan was among the list of three Canadian wine markets.

Medical Foundation: Unsung supporters of the hospital

They are among the unsung supporters of Penticton Regional Hospital, but we… Continue reading

Photos: It’s all fun and games at the midway

The carnival is in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre

Trans Mountain pipeline: Is it worth the risk?

Concerns range from the threat of an oil spill to the impact of tanker traffic on wildlife

Wildfire sparked north of Merritt, estimated 8 hectares

BC Wildfire Service is responding to the fire near Chattaway Lake FSR 27 kilometres north of Merritt

Call for artists for upcoming South Okanagan exhibition

The Penticton Art Gallery is inviting artists from across the globe to submit artworks

B.C. to spend $181M to create 200 general practitioner jobs

Jobs will go to new medical school graduates

Vernon company wins Ozone best production

Powerhouse Theatre’s Calendar Girls will move on to the Theatre BC Mainstage Festival

Federal leaders trade barbs about India trip at press gallery dinner

Justin Trudeau’s infamous trip to India earlier this year was the focus of many of the jabs

B.C. VIEWS: Our poverty reduction plan is already in place

NDP has another promise it needs to appear to keep

Most Read