As a mother of two, I’ve been observing the news for some time about SOGI 123 in B.C. schools.
My family and I are heterosexual and Muslim. And I think introducing SOGI 123 in school is a good idea, although doing so as early as kindergarten is something that should be further looked into.
From the start, our school system has always been independent of any political or religious affiliations. It has always upheld and taught one thing: To respect and care for each person and their choices. I don’t see anything that changes in this regard by introducing SOGI 123.
I understand the frustration of those stakeholders in our school system who oppose the introduction of SOGI 123. I think we have to appreciate why there is need to introduce it now. What I understand is that because a fifth of the students in high school now identify themselves as other than heterosexual have prompted the need to introduce SOGI 123. That is not a small number of teens. And those students have always been in vulnerable situations one way or the other.
In general, the major concern of parents who oppose use of SOGI 123 resources is that doing so will confuse children. I would be inclined to agree with that only if it is introduced as early as kindergarten level.
Kindergarten, when a child is just being introduced to the world, is the age to understand the only language which a is familiar with from birth: love. That age is appropriate to understand only how to love, respect and care for each other and nothing more. This is what our school system is already equipped with from the beginning. Perhaps more emphasis can be added.
High school, when a student is able to understand rights from wrongs and can make his or her own decision, is the best time to introduce SOGI 123 with gradual beginning from Grade 8.
Giving time to a child when needed at every stage of his or her age development is, I have found, the most effective tool to help develop sound judgment and clear understanding of things revolving around a child. It helps to develop a holistic personality equipped with right decision-making powers. It opens the door for a child to feel comfortable from very early age to come forward and discuss anything. It helps to build the trust and respect for each other.
H. Ahsanullah, Coquitlam