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

COVID-19 tests come back negative in remote First Nation community

“There are no suspected cases in the community at this time.”

Nanwakolas Council makes donation to North Island College to support First Nation students

The money was raised at the 2019 Nanwakolas golf tournament.

LETTER: Texas man deserved to be charged for ‘rescuing’ baby seal

‘I am hopeful that there is still time to lay charges! In this instance I totally think it’s warranted’

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Cowichan RCMP use spike belts to end car chase — man in custody

The driver was arrested at the scene a short distance from his vehicle

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Canucks blank Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying clash

Jacob Markstrom stops 27 shots to lead Vancouver past Minnesota

Most Read