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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Small grants can help boost Delta neighbourhoods

Delta Foundation grants range from $50 to $500 and are meant to fund creative community initiatives

White Rock to encourage Uber, Lyft to operate in city

South Surrey and White Rock are without ride-hailing services, for now

Trains through White Rock, Surrey could be affected by rail blockades

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Man in critical condition after South Surrey collision

Police say impairment and speed have not been ruled out as contributing factors

South Surrey boy, 11, hopes to raise $3,000 for Sources – and be Prime Minister

White Rock Coldest Night of the Year event to take place Feb. 22

VIDEO: Kawhi Leonard wins first Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP award

Leonard scored 30 points and hit eight 3-pointers to lead Team LeBron to a 157-155 victory

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

BC Ferries sailings filling up Family Day Monday

More than 20 sailings added between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for long weekend

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

B.C. man released from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

Because Spencer Fehrenbacher has American citizenship, he was evacuated by the U.S.

Most Read