Official Trustee Dianne Turner wrote the following letter to parents regarding recent media reports about a sexual education event at Lord Byng Secondary School.
You may have seen recent media reports about a sexual education event at Lord Byng Secondary School. Byng Secondary has a long standing history of providing sexual education as part of the BC curriculum, and also offers additional events, such as the "Sex at Lunch" series, that encourage students to learn about sexual health, gender identity and inclusiveness.
We are very proud of its innovative and welcoming programming that encourages students to discuss and explore sexual health, sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) issues. The school has regularly communicated to students and parents about the program and the nature of these extra-curricular events.
On Wednesday, June 14, two members of the public, who were uninvited, entered the auditorium at Lord Byng Secondary without permission and attended a "Sex at Lunch" presentation. They began to take notes and were recording and taking photographs of the teachers and students present which they were not authorized to do."¯
At the end of the presentation the two women began to distribute anti-SOGI pamphlets to students in an aggressive manner."¯They were asked to stop and leave school grounds. They were also asked to delete any recordings of the presentation and they refused. They behaved aggressively to VSB staff and once off school grounds, continued to distribute their pamphlets.
The pamphlets distributed do not reflect the views of the VSB or Lord Byng, and an announcement was made to students to that effect.
VSB is in the process of beginning proceedings with the Information and Privacy Commissioner to require these persons to remove any photos or recordings of the Byng event from any publication or online source.
VSB schools value all students and families regardless of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex or sexual orientation, or gender identity/expression. Our policy on sexual orientation and gender identity clearly states that we are committed to establishing and maintaining a safe, inclusive, equitable, and welcoming learning and working environment for all members of the school community. We will continue to work to provide that environment, free from harassment and discrimination.
Sexual health education is an established component of the school health curriculum in B.C., as in all other provinces and territories in Canada. The role of schools in providing sexual health education to students is well-supported by Health Canada and other recognized authorities in public health."¯
We stand behind the educators who teach sexual education to our students and the administrators who ensure our students have a safe environment in which to learn.
Have a wonderful summer!
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