Superintendent calls group handing kids anti-SOGI 123 pamphlets at school “alarming”
A large group of concerned citizens, both in favour of and opposed to SOGI 123, at the May 8th SD72 board meeting.
CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C.-School District 72 Superintendent Thomas Longridge is concerned after an anti-SOGI 123 group handed out pamphlets to students at Penfield Elementary. It happened Monday as the kids were leaving school for the day.
SOGI 123 is the controversial program aimed at making schools “inclusive and safe for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities.” A message to parents from the school’s vice principal, Andrea Ritchie, acknowledged the incident. The pamphlets were being passed out by three adults, something Longridge calls alarming:
Ritchie’s message to parents says the group left school property when asked, but continued handing their material out at the exit onto Hilchey Road. Longridge says he has yet to hear of this happening at any other schools in Campbell River, but that staff are aware of the possibility it could. He says that while he respects the democratic right of those who disagree with SOGI to express their views, there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed:
Longridge says he expects people who may do this in the future to respect the integrity of the school, respect trespassing laws, and to respect the rights of children to not be approached in this manner by adults they do not know.
He also wants parents to know that the materials this group was handing out are not endorsed in any way by the school board, and that the board does have information, available upon request, for any parent who wants to learn more about SOGI 123.
A screen capture of the message sent to Penfield Elementary parents by the school’s vice principal