Thursday, June 30, 2011

Anti-Bullying in BC High Schools

Here is the third letter to the editor written in response to the anti-bullying policy, now passed by school administrators...

Throw fear outside

Burnaby Now June 29, 2011
Dear Editor:
I appreciate the Burnaby NOW's coverage regarding unanimous acceptance of Policy 5.45 by the school board members. The video posted on Jennifer Moreau's blog demonstrated how well the school board worked with the various subsets of the community for a resolution.
However, Burnaby's Parent's Voice group was less than impressed. The video included a woman who claimed she was present to "witness darkness history" claiming the schools will now openly "promote homosexuality." She fears the LGBTQ community "cannot reproduce the next generation." As a person born into a fundamentalist sect, and who faithfully practised for 40 years, my heart went out to her as I realized she sincerely believes in what are typically religiously-defined "family values."
The Parents' Voice group may now disrupt the education of their own children. Looking back, in my parental role, I too once would have over-reacted similarly. Those fears were fed by my religious leaders. Such dramatization could be viewed as yet another type of bullying to force a religious agenda.
Some might even say the group is now using their own children as pawns to manipulate the school board.
Reactions like that would be considered "honorable" and a "sacrifice in the name of God" by hard-line fundamentalists.
Too often, religions teach an "us against them" mentality where "we" are always better than "them." Such a mindset does not encourage members to accept the rich diversity around us.
I was fortunate to find excellent therapists who validated my anxieties and helped me work through such groundless fears.
Religious folk might choose to trust their own scripture that says, "Perfect love throws fear outside." - 1 John 4:8
E. Harrison, Burnaby
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