The Richmond School District, parents, and students are divided over the drafting of a school policy designed to protect LGBTQ students.
The group Parents Care argues the district didn’t adequately consult with parents about the policy’s implementation, arguing a separate policy to protect sexual orientation and gender identity should fall under one umbrella.
Spokesperson Colleen Howu told Global News she also believes it’s possible to convert straight people into homosexuals.
“It is possible. If it’s a life choice, it’s possible,” she says.
Student Nathan Lee, who is president of Steveston-London’s Rainbow Club, says it doesn’t work that way.
“I’m gay, and if it worked that way, I would choose to be straight and then my life wouldn’t have so much challenges.”
Kaylyn Munro, another student petitioning for the policy, say they just want an even playing field.
“Students that are not a part of the LGBTQ community are up here, and those that are are down here. With this policy, we’re just trying to bring the LGBTQ students up to the same level. We’re not trying to single anybody out, we just want to even out the playing field so we can all move forward together.”
But Howu says singling students is exactly what the policy would do, creating special rights for one group.
“It will segregate students. And everyone is no longer treated equal,” she says.
A petition by Parents Care has collected six thousand signatures with concerns about the policy.
But school board chair Debbie Tablotny told Global News the validity of it is in question, with many of the signatories from Hong Kong and the U.S.