Sep 21 – Minister asked about removing SOGI 123 from classrooms, article, notes and video

Sep 21 – Education Minister talks SOGI 123 and the Chilliwack school board election, by Paul Henderson

The full article can be seen here.

Excerpt: But given his presence in town and the ongoing controversy stirred up by a small group, he was asked about the LCBTQ and anti-bullying resource SOGI 123, and those trustees running for election who want it removed from classrooms.

The issue was first brought up last year by Trustee Barry Neufeld who calls SOGI 123 a “weapon of propaganda to infuse every subject matter from K-12 with the latest fad: Gender theory.”

Another excerpt: Specifically, Fleming was asked: “On SOGI 123. If Chilliwack elects a school board that truly is against this teaching resource and say they want to have it removed from the classroom what would the ministry do, what would you do?”

Fleming deflected the question for the most part, but he said that anyone running for trustee needs to ‘have the interest of all kids in mind’. (policies inclusive of LGBTQ, not necessarily resources in the classrooms) “I think the people of Chilliwack are going to have a chance here to decide which candidates represent the students and families in this district,” he said in part.

Fleming’s complete answer again blurred the the distinction between SOGI and SOGI 123. SOGI is the policy side of the issue. It is only this policy side that is mandated to each Board to make sure its set of policies are inclusive of “gender identity or expression” references in the BC Human Rights Code. Of course, principals, teachers and students are covered by the Code whether the local public school Board and independent school boards say so or not. SOGI 123 is the learning resource side of the issue. The Ministry of Education no longer approves or evaluates learning resources. This responsibility was delegated to Boards within a year of the 2016 revision to the BC Human Rights Code that added the words “gender identity or expression” in a one-day sitting of the Legislative Assembly (Liberals, NDPs and Green).

One of the tasks of the newly elected Boards across the province will be to “add or remove” learning resources to their district’s list. The elected trustees have the power to hold their superintendent accountable for approving and evaluating learning resources.

During the October 20, 2018 election parents can continue to encourage trustees to understand their power to either remove SOGI 123 as a learning resource from their classrooms or to allow their teachers to keep teaching gender fluidity starting in kindergarten and continuously right through to Grade 12.

Fleming’s complete answer was recored on a noisy one minute video. The video can be seen here – scroll down the page to find the link titled “Education Minister talks SOGI 123 and Chilliwack school board election”.