Re: “District LGBTQ policy ‘out front’, but still more to do”, (Citizen, Nov. 18)
I was surprised to read statements attributed to District 79 superintendent Rod Allen where he describes School Board 79’s policy no. 6510 as “recognizing the diversity found within its school community…” The statement that, “The Board will not tolerate any behaviour that is discriminatory… toward students and their families, employees or volunteers…” is both ironic and narrow- minded. If it is indeed true that the board wishes to avoid discriminatory policies, then why have they been creating and implementing policies that discriminate against those who hold more traditional beliefs regarding a wide range of social and cultural issues?
While it is certainly true that we should protect minority rights in schools, it is also true that the rights of now unrecognized minorities such as traditional conservatives and Christians need to be protected. Removing Christmas concerts, forbidding mention of the Christian roots of celebrations and instituting policies that replace Christmas with generic winter holiday celebrations all smack of discriminatory anti-Christian policies that fly in the face of our traditions and cultural history and violate our human rights.
Why, for example, do we now allow native prayer and blessings to precede virtually every district event while disallowing Christian prayers? To do so is an obvious form of discrimination against a sizeable portion of the community. This is contemptible and exclusionary, not at all an example of the so called “inclusive” practices the board claims to value.
I am also wondering how Superintendent Allen manages to conclude that 20 per cent of elementary students, and a similar number of other district employees and support staff, “may” belong to the LGBTQ community? This is a projection on his part that is not supported by the majority of established studies conducted over the last five or six decades.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, why are Superintendent Allen and the board intent on implementing policies that are in direct opposition to many parents’ preferences, beliefs and teaching, and then, all too often, implying that these beliefs are without value and somehow narrow minded and bigoted? How is this inclusive?
Many of us in the district take exception to the school board’s policy on the issue described above and ask them to revisit it. In the future it might also be prudent for them to ask Mr. Allen to be more careful about his public pronouncements on controversial social issues.