Between 100 and 200 people marched up and down Creston’s main street yesterday in protest against SOGI 123.
SOGI 123, which stands for Sexual Orientations and Gender Identities, is a resource teachers can use to help educate students on sexual orientations and gender identities.
Creston’s protestors say they don’t want it in their schools.
“We are supporting the innocence of children,” said a man who identified himself as “Rally” Paul.
“We want to protect the innocence of children.”
Signs saying “SOGI 123 hell no”, “hands off our kids”, and “stop the brainwashing” were seen in numbers.
“Schools shouldn’t be teaching children stuff like that. That’s up to the parents,” states Paul.
“We do not co-parent with the government or with teachers unions or labor unions.”
According to the SOGI 123 website, there are three essentials for SOGI-Inclusive schools: policies and procedures, inclusive environments, and teaching resources that include diversity, respect and examples of SOGI topics and 2SLGBTQ+ community members.
There was also a small group of counter-protestors showing support for SOGI 123.
Creston Mayor Arnold DeBoon was at the Union of B-C Municipalities convention in Vancouver, but addressed the protest in an interview.
“The prevailing message from politicians at both the provincial and municipal levels is not to support any action that promotes intolerance of any group of people, and I fully support that point of view,” he said.
He said some protestors might have been out in response to a recent case of alleged sexual assault against students.
“I understand that for some this may be the motivation to protest, but for any other reason, I support the idea of teaching tolerance and understanding to children at a level that matches their need to know this.”
“It is very important to have these talks as children start to ask questions.”