In a first for British Columbia, the current Minister of Education (The BCNDP’s Rob Fleming) and the most recent former minister, (the BC Liberals’ Mike Bernier) joined together to show their support for BC’s LGBTQ youth. The two were joined by representatives from PFLAG, the ARC Foundation, and openly gay MLA Spencer Chandra-Herbert to show their support for SOGI 123, a resource for teachers and other educators to help equip them with tools and resources for supporting marginalized LGBTQ students and for creating safer and more inclusive school environments for all students. “SOGI”, which stands for sexual orientation and gender identity, is an acronym being used more and more to describe the wide diversity in the LGBTQ community.
Proud to stand with Education Minister @Rob_Fleming , @pflagvancouver, Parents for Inclusivity, the Arc Foundation, + MLA @Mike_A_Bernier to show our support for Sexual Orientation + Gender Identity policies in BC schools. #SOGI123 #LGBT #bcpoli pic.twitter.com/HybS2gLIMs
— S Chandra Herbert (@SChandraHerbert) November 23, 2017
Watch this overview to learn more about SOGI 123.
Unfortunately, some very small groups of people have been spreading misinformation about SOGI 123. There has been some recent media coverage on these groups, including a Chilliwack school trustee, and their very damaging rhetoric. BCTF President Glen Hansman has called for this trustee to resign. Hansman said, “regardless of his personal views, he needs to check those at the door. I would suggest that if he wants to continue to share those views, then he should probably step down from his role.”
Minister of Education, Rob Fleming, also posted a powerful statement on Facebook in support of diversity and against hate.
This level of support from both major political parties, parent groups, and other educators is making a difference. All BC kids deserve a safe place to learn and be their true selves. Keep speaking out in support of them!
— BCSTA (@BC_STA) November 24, 2017
— Kelvin🐙Gawley (@KelvinGawley) November 22, 2017
— Jonathan Dyck (@jonathanteacher) November 20, 2017
— Kristyn Anthony (@allovthethings) November 23, 2017
— Jordan Tinney (@jordantinney) November 8, 2017
Hey #bced teachers, print and post this graphic to show your classroom is a safe place for LGBTQ folks. All students are welcome and supported, no matter how they identify. Learn more about being inclusive at https://t.co/qLOzZrmuO6 #SOGI123. #bcpoli pic.twitter.com/NQ3Px2HOnF
— BCTF (@bctf) November 23, 2017