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

Lightning causes three wildfires east of Osoyoos

It is believed the fires started by a lightning storm

Okanagan RCMP officers detain a driver in handcuffs

Penticton RCMP officers pulled over a vehicle and handcuffed the driver as they searched the car

Controversial anti-abortion film to be screened in Penticton

Unplanned will be shown at the Penticton Landmark theatre

House arrest for ‘vicious’ back-alley attack on Penticton man

Thomas Brayden Kruger-Allen was at the Mule Nightclub prior to the assault

Update: Coroner investigating after body recovered from Okanagan Lake

Penticton fire department assisted the RCMP with the recovery of a body Saturday

Practice makes perfect for Penticton’s Peach Classic triathlon winner

Over 300 triathletes competed in the 36th edition of the Peach City Classic Triathlon Sunday.

Lightning causes three wildfires east of Osoyoos

It is believed the fires started by a lightning storm

Crash closes Highway 1 near Tappen

The collision happened about 3:30 p.m. by James Road

Air ambulance called to second collision on Highway 1 west of Salmon Arm

Emergency crews respond to motor-vehicle collision near Second Nations Road intersection

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Kelowna cab driver charged with sexual assault

RCMP received a report May 28 alleging a taxi passenger had been sexually assaulted by a cab driver

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Okanagan-based pop star Andrew Allen is back with a new band

Singer-songwriter Andrew Allen is bringing his new band home for a concert this Friday

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Most Read