Opponents of LGBTQ program to file human rights complaint against Surrey School District

District denied Parents United Canada right to rent Bell Performing Arts Centre for rally next month

Parents United Canada says it is filing an “urgent” human rights complaint after it was not allowed to rent a venue for a rally to inform parents about efforts to stop a curriculum program called SOGI 123.

The contentious program, according to sogieducation.org, “equips educators of all backgrounds and experiences with tools and resources for supporting marginalized LGBTQ students and for creating safer and more inclusive school environments for all students.”

READ ALSO: Surrey School District refuses to rent Bell Centre for Parents United Canada rally

“They can’t deny a service to somebody based on political, religious reasons,” Kari Simpson, president of a group called Culture Guard, said. “There will also be a letter from our lawyers going to the school district saying, ‘Do you want to go down this road?’”

Simpson says teachers are being told to not to refer to boys as boys and girls as girls “because they can be anything they want and everything in between.”

She called it an abuse of the public education system, and a “political program, brainwashing students” from Kindergarten to Grade 12. “They circumvented parental notification.”

READ MORE: Parents rally on both sides of new SOGI curriculum

READ MORE: Langley board of education stands behind SOGI curriculum

District spokesman Doug Strachan said Friday the district has a policy that it can deny use of a facility if there are “reasonable grounds to believe” it could lead to a “protest,” adding there’s indication that that could happen.

He said the district’s concern is about liability for potential damage.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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