B.C. parents riled after son’s Halloween photos used in anti-SOGI speech

Culture Guard’s Kari Simpson has been using a former student’s photo in presentations.

A controversial Langley anti-SOGI activist used photos of a former Langley student in a presentation, incorrectly claiming students were “in drag” frequently in B.C. schools.

Kari Simpson of Culture Guard gave a presentation in Coquitlam Wednesday. It was recorded on the group’s Facebook Page.

Simpson used the photos of at least two students from a Langley high school in the presentation.

“This is how they go to school,” Simpson told her audience, incorrectly claiming that there are no longer dress codes in schools.

“If they want to dress up in drag, as drag queens, they’re allowed to,” she said. “Every day.”

Simpson told the Advance the photos were used with permission.

“Actually I talked to one of the kids months ago about the posting, and he said, ‘Go ahead, do whatever,’” Simpson said.

The conversation came in the context of a dispute on social media between the student and another person.

The former student’s parents are upset about the inclusion of the photos in the Culture Guard presentation. They were contacted by a teacher at the school who had seen one of the Culture Guard presentations that included the photos.

“She [Simpson] takes a lot of things out of context,” said Cliff Empey, the father of Cameron, one of the students in the photos.

“I’m kind of outraged,” said Cathy Empey, the student’s mother.

One of the pictures was taken on Halloween, and the other was taken at a Pride event, Cathy said.

“They don’t dress like that at school,” she said.

The Empeys are calling for Simpson to stop using the photos and to issue a public apology.

“We’re looking into the lawyer route,” said Cathy.

The family supports the SOGI 123 program and has spoken to B.C. Parents for Inclusivity, a local group founded by Stacey Wakelin about the issue.

Simpson was asked if she knew the photos were from Hallowe’en.

“That’s not what I understand,” Simpson said. “And regardless, it’s not what schools are for.”

She said she’s had no contact with the student or family since her video was posted.

Langley School District does have a dress code, referred to as “dress guidelines” on the district’s website.

“Clothing should demonstrate a respect for the school community,” the guidelines read in part. “Clothing should meet standards of suitability that are typical of an office workplace and should not be offensive to others.”

The guidelines also ban any clothing that promotes alcohol or drugs, encourages sexism, racism or bigotry, and bears direct or indirect messages related to violence, gang culture, sex, or pornography.

The district’s code of conduct also forbids “discriminatory conduct on the basis of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, political beliefs, and age.”

“Discriminatory conduct includes publishing or displaying anything that could discriminate against another based on accommodation, service and facility, or expose them to contempt or ridicule, on the basis of the above grounds,” says the code of conduct.

The presentation focused on Simpson’s claims about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI123) a set of materials in use by B.C. schools.

Simpson and her conservative group have protested against SOGI numerous times around the Lower Mainland and farther afield around the province.

She recently claimed to have invited the Hells Angels to an anti-SOGI protest in Vancouver, saying members of the outlaw motorcycle gang were parents too.

READ MORE: Hells Angels invited to rally by anti-SOGI organizer

Just Posted

Reel Reviews: A cure for anger

We say, “Purge it up, goofballs.”

Kelowna families honour the dead by releasing butterflies

The Nicholson matriarchs release 33 butterflies

Carr’s Landing Art Tour showcases local talent

14th annual tour in Lake Country July 28-29 and Aug. 4-5

The Okanagan Croatian Club all smiles after World Cup loss

They say winning second place brought Croatia to the world stage

East Shuswap Road wildfire’s fire line being controlled

Firefighters saved an eagle’s nest and eaglets while controlling fire lines

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Course veterans seize victory in Peach City Classic

The first place titles in this year’s triathlon belonged to returning competitors.

Vernon writers launch online workshop for teens, young adults

Storymakers’ Raise Your Voice workshop seeks to help women writers uncover and use voice

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

Your reviews: John Fogerty rocks the South Okanagan

Photos and reviews from fans in Penticton at John Fogerty’s concert in the SOEC

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Most Read