Letter: Atheists, skeptics and humanists support SOGI 123

Letter: Atheists, skeptics and humanists support SOGI 123

Kelowna - Schools must comply with provincial human rights legislation

To the editor:

The Kelowna Atheists, Skeptics and Humanists Association has become concerned with the misinformation being spread regarding Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity policies and education in BC schools.

It is well documented that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students often face discrimination. Schools must comply with provincial human rights legislation regarding sexual orientation and gender identity. This means that schools need to address discrimination against LGBT students.

The SOGI 123 system addresses discrimination through lessons, classroom activities, policies, and codes of conduct. It provides tools and resources for educators. SOGI 123 lessons inform students that a diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities exist in the world. Students learn about respecting others’ rights, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Educating students about reality, and reducing discrimination against LGBT students are desirable goals. However, a vocal minority has objected to these efforts.

Some have expressed concern that SOGI 123 interferes with parental rights. Yet there is nothing in SOGI 123 that prevents parents from imparting their values to their children. They can impart their values at home and through community activities and organizations.

Some parents don’t want their children to know that a diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities exist. These parents object to the facts, so they prefer children to remain ignorant.

Some parents have embarked on a campaign of misinformation and inflamed rhetoric accusing the ministry and teachers of trying to impose a political agenda on students. They have even claimed that the SOGI 123 indoctrinates children into homosexuality and transgenderism!

Whenever society tries to extend full human rights to a new group of people, there are always those who fear “social upheaval”. Public policy should not be driven by fear and ignorance but by a calm assessment of the evidence. SOGI education is based on evidence.

KASHA supports the efforts of school districts to educate youth on SOGI issues and create a non-discriminatory educational environment. We call on opponents to drop the inflammatory and dishonest rhetoric and work with the ministry to protect the educational environment for all students.

David Robinson, Zena Ryder, Nina George, Daniel Mallett, Ellen Nilson, Darrel Lewis

Kelowna Atheists, Skeptics and Humanists Association Board

Just Posted

Collision slows rush hour traffic in Kelowna

Expect delays at K.L.O. Road and Richter Street on your commute Tuesday evening

A conceptual render of the proposed building at 955 Manhattan Drive. (Contributed)
Height not wanted on Kelowna’s Manhattan Drive

City staff said proposed five-storey building poses challenges

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

Kelowna General Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna General Hospital declared over

Three people tested positive for the virus — two patients and one staff — one of whom died

A crash at the intersection of Harvey Avenue and Leckie Road on June 15. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
Traffic stalled by Harvey Avenue crash in Kelowna

One lane is open as crews clean up after crash at Harvey Avenue and Leckie Road

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Vernon-Monashee NDP MLA Harwinder Sandhu supported a motion in the B.C. legislature for Canada to create a national Indigenous History month Monday, June 13, 2021. (Contributed)
Canada needs a national Indigenous History Month, Vernon MLA agrees

Harwinder Sandhu supports motion to recognize June as month to advance reconciliation efforts with First Nations

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

New trial date set for Penticton beach attacker’s triple assault charges

May trial was delayed after Crown witnesses failed to show up

Orange ribbons are tied to the fence outside Vernon’s Gateway Homeless Shelter on 33rd Street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
POLL: Low-key Canada Day in the works for Vernon

Councillor calling for Indigenous recognition for 2022

A conceptual design of Vernon’s new Active Living Centre, which will go to referendum Oct. 15, 2022. (Rendering)
Active living centre 2022 referendum planned in Vernon

City hoping to get Coldstream and Areas B and C back on board

Closure of the 2900 block of 30th Avenue will allow restaurants and other businesses to extend their patios onto the street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Green light given to downtown Vernon road closure

Single block of 30th Avenue to close over summer months to boost business

Graduating Grade 12 student Savannah Lamb has been awarded an approximate $40,000 scholarship from the Beedie Luminaries foundation. (Contributed)
Dedicated Salmon Arm student earns scholarship to pursue post-secondary education

Savannah Lamb is graduating from Salmon Arm Secondary with a $40,000 scholarship

Most Read