UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 20, 4 p.m.
A movement to protest the teaching of sexuality and gender issues in schools appeared in Bancroft on Wednesday.
Several demonstrations linked to the 1 Million March 4 Children were held across Canada, including at Millennium Park.
Local organizer Wilma Brethour said protesters are not against the 2SLGBTQ+ community but are protesting how topics around sexuality are taught in schools.
Another protester, Yoasha (who did not give her last name) says schools should “leave children alone”.
“That’s it. Let them live their childhood and be children,” she said at the park, where several cars honked in support.
Earlier this year, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick adopted new gender and pronoun policies that made it so parental consent is needed for students under the age of 16 to change their given names and/or pronouns at school.
In Ontario, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, and Premier Doug Ford have touched on the subject, stating parents must be involved and informed of what is happening in their children’s lives.
A spokesperson for the premier said earlier this month that the provincial government is not currently planning any legislation that will force teachers to disclose information to parents.
The Hastings & Prince Edward District School Board also released a statement saying, “the board is committed to ensuring that all staff and students are seen, heard and welcomed as they are, so that they can thrive and belong.”
It also says “members of the HPEDSB community remain committed to creating safe and inclusive spaces for all students, families and staff, especially for those most marginalized.”
In a statement, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario says the province-wide protests are “undermining the rights and dignity” of the 2SLGBTQ+ community and adds “there is no place for hate in our province, or our hearts.”
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 12 noon
A protest connected to the 1 Million March 4 Children began in Bancroft this morning.
Dozens of people were lining Millennium Park, holding signs expressing disapproval over 2SLGBTQ+ issues being taught in schools.
Organizer Wilma Brethour said demonstrators plan to march to the schools later today. She said the marchers are not against the 2SLGBTQ+ community, but are protesting how topics around sexuality are taught in schools.
In a statement, The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario says the province-wide protests are “undermining the rights and dignity of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.”
MyBancroftNow.com is reaching out to people in the local Pride community to hear their thoughts.