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May 31, 2024

Letter to the Editor: Racism and homophobia espoused by School Board Trustees is not acceptable

Board meeting with two attendees shaking hands across the table

LETTER TO THE EDITOR — I am writing to you as a parent of a student who is enrolled in Elementary School in the Bluewater District School Board. Our School Board trustee is the Trustee for Township of Southgate/Municipality of Grey Highlands. 

I did not vote for our Trustee; I did not feel that their values aligned themselves with our family values. That said, it was an election and she won. That does not mean she has my support as a parent for attempting to derail meetings and to cause undue stress for the students who are also members of the Board. I find it disturbing that there have been unprofessional behaviours by Trustees at Board meetings after Student Trustees submitted concerns about conduct and discussions at recent meetings. 

I am disgusted Trustees are perpetuating the myths that children who identify as LGBTQ2+ are a threat to their fellow students and the idea that one would monitor students entering a washroom to ensure they leave the washroom wearing the same clothing they went in with, is beyond ridiculous. Not to mention a waste of time for the staff in the schools who are already busy enough. 

The push to have "the N word" used in schools is mind boggling, there is no argument to be had that its use in a historical context, because Civil Rights leaders used it, is appropriate. 

Human Rights are rights for everyone, you may not agree with a person’s personal beliefs but that does not mean you get to force them to believe what you believe. The Trustees are entitled to their beliefs, but they are not entitled to attempt to derail or push those beliefs onto the School Board. A public school board. If they would like to have control over a student’s beliefs and allow for racist and homophobic language to be taught, perhaps they could start their own school system and leave the public system alone. 

Going forward, individual agendas should not be pushed, racism and homophobia are not acceptable while attending meetings or acting on behalf of the School Board. If the Trustees are unable to perform their duties in a professional manner, they should consider resigning their position.

Bradi Watson,
Durham (West Grey)


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