Signs with this message were posted inside South Kamloops secondary last week. Three students behind their creation were disciplined. (Contributed/Kamloops This Week)

Students disciplined after anti-LGBTQ signs posted in Kamloops high school

Vessy Mochikas, SD73’s principal for inclusive education, called incident a learning opportunity

–– Kamloops This Week

Anti-LGBTQ signs posted at South Kamloops secondary last week shows that more work needs to be done, but progress is being made, according to School District 73’s principal for inclusive education.

Some students printed posters displaying a meme bashing Pride Month — recognized each June — and taped them on walls and mirrors in the Munro Street high school on June 12.

Social media posts appear to show one sign was on a bathroom mirror and another on a bulletin board.

The text read: “Veterans only get one officially recognized day but gays get a whole month because they are so brave and they do so much for our country.”

ALSO READ: B.C. man’s video goes viral after homophobic insults yelled at him, boyfriend

The signs were noticed by staff and students, reported to administration and removed quickly, said SD73 assistant superintendent Bill Hamblett, speaking on behalf of the school.

Hamblett did not know the precise number of signs posted, but said there were several.

Three students were reprimanded for posting the signs, Hamblett said, citing privacy reasons in declining to specify what disciplinary action was taken.

The students’ actions constituted a breach of the school district’s student code of conduct, he said, which can vary from a verbal warning to suspension.

ALSO READ: Gay, bisexual teens half as likely as straight teens to play sports, study says

“They weren’t fully aware of some of the repercussions it might have for other kids or staff,” Hamblett said. “Not a good decision, but they understood they made a mistake.”

Vessy Mochikas, SD73’s principal for inclusive education, said while the incident represents a learning opportunity for those involved, it also demonstrated the tolerance of the students who reported the posters immediately because they knew they were offensive.

“Just because the posters went up, I don’t think we can jump to the conclusion that this is a mass feeling out there. I would suggest it’s otherwise,” said Mochikas. “Every student wants to have a sense of belonging and connection and feel safe at school.”

The incident also showed Mochikas the need for continued work in her role supporting teachers in delivering a curriculum that promotes respect and diversity with materials woven into different subject areas.

“You don’t stop at 9:45 a.m. and say now we’re going to learn about gender diversity … it might mean that a class is reading a novel where a character is gay or transgender or their are two parents of the same sex,” she said.

“The idea is you see the diversity in the world in your curriculum and you realize in many ways you can tell how we might be different, but we’re actually more alike,” she said. “It really promotes understanding, kindness, respect.”

Michael Potestio, Kamloops This Week

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kootenay-Columbia incumbent MP responds to Trudeau brownface scandal

Stetski proud of NDP leader Singh’s reaction, which focused on people not power

Liberals’ Kootenay-Columbia candidate stands by Trudeau despite scandal

Robin Goldsbury says the prime minister’s racist photo is a learning opportunity

Aquifers, water quality exceedances, and concerns for drinking water in Golden and Area A

Water quality and quantity issues are reaching a pinnacle in Golden and… Continue reading

Golden Landfill receives second operational warning letter from MoE

The Ministry of Environment (MoE) has issued a second warning letter to… Continue reading

Two Global Climate Action Strikes taking place in Golden on September 20

Two events in Golden are taking place simultaneously as others across the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Woman stabbed in downtown Nelson

Victim is in hospital, suspect is in police custody

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Most Read