Ontario Education Minister Urges Schools to Celebrate Pride Month After Board Votes Against Flying Flag

3 months ago 137

Following contention astatine York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB), which precocious decided not to alert the pridefulness emblem for Pride Month successful June, acquisition curate Stephen Lecce has issued a memo saying “it is incumbent connected each schoolhouse boards” to guarantee LGBTQ students consciousness supported.

“That includes celebrating Pride successful a constructive, affirmative and meaningful ways [sic] to affirm that 2SLGBTQ+ students cognize that their educators and staff, schoolhouse committee administrators, and authorities basal with them,” helium said.

Ministry spokesperson Grace Lee confirmed the memo was sent retired to Ontario schoolhouse boards connected May 30. At the May 29 YCDSB meeting, trustees voted 6–4 against flying the flag. It is 1 lawsuit of a increasing push-back connected Pride Month celebrations successful schools. National walk-outs are being planned for June 1 and June 9.

YCDSB trustee Angela Saggese, who voted against flying the flag, said that arsenic a Catholic schoolhouse teacher she ever created a harmless abstraction for each students. LGBTQ students discussed their struggles successful her people “because they felt safe,” she said.

“We arsenic Catholic educators bash that each day. We embrace, we talk to them,” she said. Saggese said it’s important to contiguous students with “clear guidance” rooted successful Catholic teachings. “I deliberation the committee volition proceed to bash their enactment to [ensure] the information for each children. We don’t request a emblem to bash that,” she said.

The Catholic Perspective

Communications from Church authorities have told Ontario’s Catholic schools they should beryllium cautious connected LGBTQ issues.

That includes a May 24 statement by Bishop Ronald P. Fabbro of London, Ont., who said Catholic schools should “treat each radical with respect” and invited all, but should refrain from flying the pridefulness emblem “because of the disorder it causes successful the minds of the faithful.”

The Institute for Catholic Education issued guidance successful 2019, saying, “In the Church’s understanding, each idiosyncratic is made successful God’s representation arsenic antheral oregon female. Life begins astatine the infinitesimal of conception, and gender
identity is determined genetically, anatomically and chromosomally.”

It said counselling enactment should beryllium fixed with compassion to students with sex dysphoria. “Those persons should beryllium supported to judge their commencement gender.” It acknowledged that publically funded Catholic schools indispensable besides admit the antithetic position of sexuality and sex presented by the Ontario Human Rights Commission, which “is recognized successful law.”

“We are called to respect persons who disagree with us, portion holding the anticipation that our beliefs arsenic Catholics, and our denominational rights, volition likewise beryllium acknowledged and respected,” the guidance states.

Lecce has affirmed connected aggregate occasions his enactment for Catholic education. He met with Toronto’s caller Archbishop, Francis Leo, successful April and reaffirmed his “unshakeable committedness to protecting Catholic acquisition successful Ontario,” helium said connected Instagram.

On May 17, which was International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, helium tweeted, “We basal agreed successful the defense, protection, and promotion of prime Catholic acquisition successful Ontario.”

Student, Parent Perspectives

YCDSB pupil trustee Anthea Peta-Dragos said during the May 29 meeting, “We walk, we eat, we survey with our 2SLGBTQIA+ peers each azygous day. We spot their struggles, we spot their pain. If the enactment of raising the advancement [pride] emblem volition marque astatine slightest immoderate of the students … consciousness respected and harmless and included … it is our work to bash it.”

Ova Emakpor, who graduated from a YCDSB schoolhouse successful 2015, attended the gathering to enactment his sister, who has helped pb the telephone for the flag-raising.

“There’s thing antagonistic to what she’s trying to bash successful presumption of getting enactment for groups that possibly consciousness underrepresented,” Emakpor told The Epoch Times earlier the meeting. “I didn’t spot that benignant of practice for those groups erstwhile I was successful school, truthful I deliberation it’s astir apt a large happening to effort and propulsion that.”

German Reyes, who has 2 daughters successful the board, told The Epoch Times: “Our children are successful Catholic schools, and there’s definite values, definite beliefs that we have. And that’s the crushed we’re putting them successful these schools. We privation them to turn up beardown successful our faith.”

“This is bigger than the flag,” 1 parent, who preferred lone to springiness her archetypal name, Diana, told The Epoch Times. She said schools person been “sexualizing the kids for a agelong time,” including done books disposable astatine schoolhouse libraries.