Misinformation causes confusion, anger following school board motion on Pride celebrations
REGINA -- Emotions were high at a Regina Public School Board meeting on Tuesday that saw trustees hold a vote on a motion surrounding Pride celebrations in public schools.
Anger on Tuesday evening was fueled by misinformation that the board would be voting on whether to continue with Pride events and gay-straight alliances in Regina Public Schools.
In a 4-3 vote, trustees decided schools will reserve the right to display Pride events as they desire, but are not obligated to partake, as the board interpreted the motion as effectively making Pride celebrations mandatory.
The motion's wording "to recognize and support the celebration of Pride and fly the rainbow flag at school facilities each June" caused confusion for trustees who felt they were moving too quickly on the motion.
It was decided the matter would be put forward to Administration to be looked at by a committee who will determine proper guidelines.
On Wednesday, the school board wanted to clarify some of the confusing details.
"GSA’s don't end. Support at the school level doesn't end. Pride activities do not end. That was not even contemplated as we went about the vote," said Katherine Gagne, Chairperson of the Regina Public School Board.
Board of Education Trustee Aleana Young put forward the motion she says would “reaffirm the status quo” and show the boards support for Pride celebrations in schools. The motion followed discussions held in June, when a group of parents shared concerns about “the implementation of Pride Day and the increased promotion of LGBTQ ideal within the public schools.”
Gagne stressed that misinformation on social media lead to an assumption that trustees would be voting on whether to allow schools to continue celebrating Pride. Several trustees expressed confusion about what the motion meant.
Regina’s LGBTQ community was still disheartened by the outcome of the vote.
"…definitely hope that the trustees take the advice of one of the community members present that the committee involve the community in its processes and I’m going to hold them to that," Dan Shier with Queen City Pride said.
The board says it's already reached out to Pride advocates, and is paying close attention to feedback that's already been received.