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

Former Fernie Ghostrider re-signs with Vancouver Canucks

Josh Teves has signed a two-year contract with the NHL team

Motor vehicle incident in Sparwood results in death of dump truck driver

An individual has died after the dump truck they were driving went… Continue reading

Fernie chainsaw carver wins big at Logger Days

Michael Penny placed 3rd at Powell River Logger Sports, last weekend

UPDATED: RCMP confirm one death in accident

Two motorcycles ran into the back of a vehicle towing a boat trailer on highway near Cranbrook

Survivor of near-drowning in Elk Valley lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

Most Read