Oct 7 – Assistant Professor Ellis and BCTF President Hansman talk about how trustees can limit SOGI

This article is written by Roshini Nair with files from Angela Sterrit and can be seen here.

The title to the left refers to the second half of the article. The editorial title of the article is so misleading that it is omitted from this page – it only refers to the first half of the article.

The title to the left does capture the content of the second half which reports on statements from Jason Ellis, an assistant professor in the UBC Faculty of Education, and from Glen Hansman, the president of the British Columbia Teachers Federation, and from the Ministry of Education.

Jason Ellis excerpts:

SOGI refers to the provincial policy around sexual orientation and gender identity, and SOGI 123 is a learning resource and tool kit offered by the Ministry of Education with ready-to-use lesson plans and learning modules aligned with the new curriculum.

Trustees do have some measure of control over what learning resources to use, but not about the essence of what is taught, Ellis said.

In other words, Ellis says, the most school board trustees opposed to SOGI can do is introduce a motion to say they won’t be using the specific SOGI 123 learning resources in their district.

The sexual orientation and gender identity framework, however, would remain in the school district’s anti-bullying policies and curriculum.

Glen Hansman excerpts:

… even if a district were to successfully vote against using the SOGI 123 learning resources, they would have to decide what materials to use instead.

“No one is forcing an individual teacher or a school to use any of the lesson plans that are there as samples on the SOGI 123 website, or any of the recommended books, but they’ll have to be doing some sort of work in this regard,” Hansman said.

Ministry of Education excerpts:

The Ministry of Education confirmed in a statement that “the provincial curriculum is mandatory,” but it is up to each board to choose the specific learning resources — which can include SOGI 123 — to meet that directive.