In the whirlwind end of the last school year, I ended my time at JN Burnett Secondary with a chance to sit in on the June 27th Richmond School Board’s public meeting regarding the implementation of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Inclusion curriculum (SOGI) created by the BC Ministry of Education. More information about SOGI can be found here.
The topic of SOGI implementation continues to grip Richmond’s community, as I witnessed that night. Starting at 6pm and going well past midnight in Burnett’s school gym, the room was fraught with tense energy from students, parents, administrators, and members of the community.
In my mind, the June 27th meeting was a historic one-of-a-kind moment that I wanted to present for as an opportunity to hear what Richmond’s community of learners and supporters felt about SOGI policy. While it was at times a difficult space to be in because of the comments heard from various sides regarding the issue, I am still so moved by the willingness and bravery of our Richmond students to speak towards such a personal topic in light of such a large crowd, to advocate for the needs of all our students, their friends and themselves included.
The following leads you to a series of live tweets documented that evening. Content warning: the tweets contain direct or paraphrased language heard by all speakers that evening, some of which contains offensive or descriptive content. Link here. As you scroll through the timeline, there were a total of 98 speakers. At the end of the evening, the majority of Richmond trustees voted to implement SOGI policy in the district. You can find reporting on the evening in the Richmond News here. Congratulations to all the advocates for the SOGI policy, I hope that the new school year brings opportunities to have conversations around how we can be more inclusive and mindful of all the communities that exist in our classroom and schools.