Thousands showed up to the Parents for Choice in Education rallies held in both Edmonton and Calgary this weekend.
In Calgary, 2,300 parents attended to peacefully demonstrate for amendments to the controversial Bill 10 which passed on March 10, 2015. The Bill addresses gay straight alliance clubs and didn’t include any consultation with parents about specific wording, or the set up of these clubs in schools. Parents are also not required to be informed as to whether their children attend the club meetings.
Furthermore, Bill 10 was followed by “Guidelines for Best Practices: Creating Learning Environments that Respect Diverse Sexual Orientations” which Parents for Choice in Education see as gender neutralizing schools, which may affect what they say is “the unique culture of some school settings.” The document also requires permission of children before informing parents about gender confusion.
The parents are calling for amendments to Bill 10 because they want to make sure that they continue to be the primary decision makers in their children’s lives. In speaking to some attendees and listening to the speakers at the rally, I found that there was a common misconception that these parents are homophobic, hateful bigots, but the common sentiment was that they felt their rights were being infringed upon and traded off for the minority.
This controversial Bill obviously can’t accommodate every group and there is no one size fits all solution that will satisfy everyone. As with many situations like this, the two groups seem to have the same issues, but on opposite sides of the spectrum.
At this time, amendments haven’t been taken into consideration, but these parents will continue the fight to have their voices heard.