For release; June 13, 2011
Thousands of BC parents and students join Burnaby petition drive to put ‘Families First’
BURNABY, June 13, 2011 — Thousands of BC parents, students and teachers have joined Burnaby’s Parents’ Voice movement in a petition drive to place Premier Christy Clark and the BC Government on notice that discrimination against children and violation of parental and religious rights and freedoms will not be tolerated in BC – even if it is camouflaged as an ‘anti-bullying’ measure.
Supporters of Parents’ Voice and representatives of the BC Muslim Association will deliver petitions filled with thousands of names to Premier Clark’s office at:
on Tuesday, June 14th, 2011. A press conference will be held in front of
at 11 a.m prior to delivery of the petitions.
“The Premier’s slogan has been ‘Families First’,” said Charter Lau, spokesman for Parents’ Voice. “That must include recognizing the rights of all parents and children — not just special interest groups and their unions.”
Parents’ Voice is a parent and student movement that promotes respect and equality for all students, parents and staff and resists the Burnaby Public School Board’s proposed policy No. 5.45, which provides special privileges to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer and Two-Spirited Intersex students without providing the same privileges to all students.
When supporters of Parents’ Voice asked questions on how the policy will be implemented and how students who do not conform to the opinion endorsed by the policy will be disciplined, the Burnaby Public School Board Trustees stonewalled. To date, the Trustees have failed to provide lawfully requested information and refuse to answer these crucial questions.
The Burnaby School Board has announced that changes will be made to the policy — but those changes will not be open to public input, nor will they be made available for public review prior to the June 14th meeting where it is reported, by some media, that the policy will be adopted.
Parents’ Voice believes the actions of the Trustees are both reprehensible and illegal. “The violation of parental trust, political abuse of the classroom and blatant disregard for the Charter values of equality and freedom from discrimination will not be tolerated,” said Lau.
“Board Chairman Larry Hayes has been caught with his political pants down, and has no policy protocol to pull them back up with,” said Parents’ Voice supporter, Gordon World. He added, “This Board will be held accountable — politically and in the courts. The Trustees have failed, administratively, ethically — they have violated the BC Human Rights Code and misled the public and the media — they alone are responsible for creating this costly fiasco.”
Parents’ Voice has said it will Boycott the June 14, 2011 meeting. Supporters of Parents’ Voice have come by the hundreds to the last three board meetings and, according to media reports, have outnumbered opponents ten to one. Parents’ Voice believes that it is a waste of time to attend any additional Burnaby Public School Board meetings when the Burnaby Trustees are wilfully deaf and blind to valid parent and student concerns. The Parents’ Voice movement now appeals to Premier Christy Clark to demonstrate leadership and protect the children of Burnaby from discrimination.