Tonight I was at the Chilliwack Board of Education’s trustee meeting to ask a question seeking clarification about the individual personal commitment of each trustee to uphold the law of British Columbia.
I came to Chilliwack and asked this question because in BC the curriculum is decided by the teachers and the Ministry of Education together and trustees are responsible for doing the opposite from what Trustee Neufeld did when he publicly published and then re-iterated that supporting transgender students was child abuse.
This is the question I asked:
I am Chair of the Trans Alliance Society. I am a Vice-President of BC NDP.
I am Past chair of Vancouver District Parent Advisory Council which represents the parents of 50,000 students in Vancouver.
I am a transgender mom with two elementary school age children who have seen far too much discrimination and violence on the basis of my gender identity and expression.
My sister is a teacher in Metro Vancouver.
Given that a trustee has publicly published and publicly repeated statements stating that supporting transgender students is child abuse,
Given that today, the Prime Minister of Canada stood in the House of Commons and in a statement supported by all federal parties of Canada, apologized in the name of the Government of Canada for the decades-long discrimination against lesbian, gay, transgender, two-spirit, bisexual, and queer Canadians and said the following:
To the kids who are listening at home and who fear rejection because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity and expression;
And to those who are nervous and scared, but also excited at what their future might hold;
We are all worthy of love, and deserving of respect.
And whether you discover your truth at six or 16 or 60, who you are is valid.
To members of the LGBTQ2 communities, young and old, here in Canada and around the world:
You are loved. And we support you.
As a school trustee entrusted by Chilliwack voters to uphold the BC Schools Act, the BC Family Act, and the BC Human Rights Code,
do you personally confirm your commitment to providing a safe and nurturing environment for learning fully in compliance with these laws for all your students in all your schools as well as a safe working environment compliant with BC and Canadian law free of discrimination on the explicitly prohibited grounds including
- national or ethnic origin
- sex (includes protection for males and females, sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and transgendered discrimination)
- sexual orientation (includes protection for heterosexual, bisexual, gay men and lesbian women)
- marital status and family status (includes protection if you are married, single, widowed, divorced, separated, or living common law)
- gender identity or expression?
Yes or No?
I write about inclusion and political issues while working to narrow the gap between the laws we took great pains to create and their real-world implementation.