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Hands off our kids rallies coming to Okanagan

Vernon Teachers’ Association responds to The Million March for Children, aimed at removing SOGI in schools
The One Million March for Children is planning nationwide school walkouts and gatherings, in an effort to remove SOGI education from schools. (March for Children Facebook)

A nationwide march, aimed at removing the sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) inclusive education in schools, is coming to Vernon.

One Million March for Children is promoted by Hands Off Our Kids, a national organization committed to “advocating for the elimination of the SOGI ‘curriculum’, pronouns, gender ideology and mixed bathrooms in school.”

Hands Off Our Kids has become “concerned that under the umbrella of what is supposedly an inclusive, anti-bullying agenda, SOGI has become a tool that confuses and sexualizes children, leading to their easy exploitation and abuse.”

Presentations in Vernon, Penticton and Kelowna, take place Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 9 a.m.

Kelowna’s will be at the Kelowna Community Theatre, Vernon’s at City Hall and Penticton’s will be located at Gyro Park.

A meet and greet takes place at 9 a.m., speakers at 10 a.m. and a march at 11 a.m.

In response to the ‘Anti Sogi Rally,’ the Vernon Teachers’ Association (VTA), along with School District 22 and CUPE 5523 issued a joint statement which said: “Promoting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI)-inclusive resources should not be a subject of controversy.

“Rather, it is a matter of ensuring that all students and their families find themselves represented in educational materials. It is also about safeguarding students and staff from discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, in accordance with the BC Human Rights Code—our province’s law.”

The VTA remains “resolute in its mission to foster an inclusive and accepting educational environment where every student can flourish without fear of discrimination or prejudice.”

VTA president Dave MacKenzie says diversity is a strength in the schools.

“Every member of our school community, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation, deserves a respectful environment in which to learn, grow, and thrive,” said MacKenzie.

“We are committed to defending schools as safe and inclusive spaces. To our LGBTQ2S+ members, students, and families—we see you, we value you, and we will always stand up for your rights.”

The joint statement was made to “affirm our unwavering support for inclusivity, diversity, and the promotion of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity rights within our educational community.”

READ MORE: Queer advocates speak out against anti-gender education march in Kelowna


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Bowen Assman

About the Author: Bowen Assman

I joined The Morning Star team in January 2023 as a reporter. Before that, I spent 10 months covering sports in Kelowna.
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