THE PEEL DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD SHOULD REVERSE ITS DECISION TO FLY PRIDE FLAGS AT SCHOOLS
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Public schools play an important role in society. They are places where kids from all segments of society - rich and poor, male and female, a multitude of ethnicities and skin colours, and a variety of religious beliefs and worldview positions - can come together to learn, play and form friendships. This is important in a country as diverse as Canada!
Helping children and youth learn how to have conversations about topics on which they greatly disagree in a way that shows respect, though not necessarily affirmation, for the existence of other worldviews would be an invaluable mission for public school boards. It would be an invaluable skill for children to acquire in a world that is increasingly polarized to the point of violence!
However, this is NOT the mission that has been adopted by the Peel District School Board when it comes to faith-based or conscience-based worldviews and sexuality. Nowhere is that more evident than in the board's decision to fly the Pride Flag at every Peel District School Board school for the month of June each school year.
The Peel District School Board recently made a decision to fly several additional flags beneath the Canadian flag at every public school in Peel Region for the month of June. This new policy took effect on June 1st, 2018. One flag to be added was that of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, acknowledging that this area is their traditional territory. This flag acknowledges a historical reality.
However, the policy did not stop there. The Pride Flag was also to be flown at all Peel District School Board schools for the month of June (pride month) each year. This flag is not about acknowledging a historical and geographic reality. While no one should be bullied, this flag represents a special interest group with a cause and a worldview concerning sexuality not held by MANY people in our society for religious or conscience reasons.
In many schools, children were taken on June 1st, without parental permission, to pride flag raising ceremonies. In my child's school, students were told attendance at the ceremony was mandatory and they were instructed to stand for the raising of the pride flag. A song was played at the end of the assembly ("Same Love," by Macklemore) that openly attacked Christianity and the Bible. It took a month of fighting to even get an apology for the song!
Where will this stop? If the Pride flag can be flown at schools, this opens up the flag pole to every special interest group. Why should any special interest perspective be featured at publically funded schools? Public schools are paid for by everyone and they are supposed to represent everyone.
The Canadian Flag does exactly that, as does the flag on Ontario. The decision to fly the flags of special interest groups at public schools should be reversed. It brings division, not unity.
We, the undersigned, call on the Peel District School Board to change the newly adopted policy of flying special interest flags at Peel District School Board Schools. I want to let it be known that I strongly disagree with this decision and ask that the policy be overturned. The Canadian flag and the flag of Ontario are unifying flags that represent everyone.
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