Those questioning the the use of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) inclusive education in schools are being urged to educate themselves.
Vernon’s Trinity United Church is calling on the community to learn more about SOGI based on fact, caring and compassion.
“Many messages are floating around right now that concern some parents and other community members,” said Barry Dorval, Trinity United member and retired educator. “Is SOGI-inclusive education harming our children? Does it promote sexualized behaviour? Does it push boys to become girls and girls to become boys?”
Trinity United, a member of the United Church of Canada, says SOGI helps students feel safe, respected and included in B.C. schools.
“Whether we are parents or grandparents, more distant relatives, or simply adults who value youth in our community, we all want to know that children are safe and are being properly cared for and educated. We owe it to our kids and ourselves to learn about SOGI 123.
“SOGI 123 lessons don’t teach students how to live as an LGBTQ+ person. What they do teach is that LGBTQ+ people are a part of our community, and the learning activities reinforce the importance of schools being a safe, respectful, welcoming space for all students, including those who are gay or who choose to transition,” said Dorval.
Trinity applauds SOGI for all, not just the small percentage of students who identify as LGBTQ+, stated a release.
“Discrimination in any of its forms hurts everyone, regardless of whether individuals are targeted by it. Bullying makes everyone feel unsafe, not just the victim.”
Trinity’s statement is endorsed as well by Rev. Chris Harwood-Jones, All Saints Anglican Church; Rev. David Hunter and council at Peace Lutheran Church and nine retired United Church of Canada ministers affiliated with Trinity United.