Clashing Protests Erupt over LGBTQ2S+ Education in Louis Riel School Division


Tuesday bore witness to a dichotomy of demonstrations under the auspices of the Louis Riel School Division (LRSD). Two congregations, each championing opposing views, assembled at separate venues to air their sentiments on LGBTQ2S+ education for students.

At the LRSD offices at 50 Monterey Road, advocates from gathered vociferously to register their objections against the educational authority’s recent decisions, as well as to voice their displeasure regarding the shift of the board’s Sept. 5 meeting to an online platform to avert protestors.

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“This is fundamentally about safeguarding our children, firmly establishing boundaries and bringing an end to this palpable absurdity,” declared protest organizer Karl Krebs. “There is an urgent need to bring equilibrium to the narrative in our academic sectors.”

The discord was initiated at the LSRD’s concluding meeting of the academic year on June 20. In a demonstration of solidarity, a contingent rallied in support of Francine Champagne, a suspended LRSD trustee who was found guilty of making transphobic comments on social media, an act perceived as a show of disrespect to the LGBTQ2S+ community.

Krebs accused the LRSD of overreaching in their authority by prematurely adjourning the meeting before all could express their support for Champagne, as well as for officially excluding 35 individuals from any future educational board meetings. He said, “A significant number of us have been formally barred from all LRSD properties indefinitely.”

On the flip side, at the LRSD premises on St. Mary’s Road, a flock amassed to voice their backing for the LGBTQ2S+ community. The rainbow flags and poster signs came alive as the event organizers rallied their supporters.

Encouraged by the turnout, rally organizer Kay Wojnarski declared, “This extraordinary, harmonious, wonderful, caring crowd fills me with optimism.” She proceeded to narrate the story of the June 20 board meeting which was disrupted by a faction bellowing messages of bigotry and intolerance.

Wojnarski pressed on to illuminate what she believed was the origin of the group’s anti-LGBTQ2S+ messaging. She pointed the finger at the U.S., claiming it’s part of a larger scheme to eradicate LGBTQ2S+ inclusive material from schools completely.

Expressing her sentiments, she said, “These individuals are attributing heinous stereotypes to trans children and trans individuals, labeling them as deviants and predators without providing a smidgen of substantial evidence, thereby justifying their advocacy for completely ridding schools and classrooms of such teaching materials.”

Meanwhile, at 50 Monterey Road, representatives from were disconcerted about what they believe to be an infringement on parental rights. Pierre Attallah, a parent of an LRSD school student, expressed his disagreement with the sex education curriculum being imparted in the school.

“This is fundamentally about shielding children from inappropriate sexual exposure and grooming within the educational system”, noted Attallah.

To rally awareness, he and his accomplices disseminated flyers in the neighboring areas, cordially inviting them to attend the school board meeting. He concurred that the LRSD had overstepped its jurisdiction, and he, along with other protestors, was advocating for the dissolution of the present LRSD school board and a by-election to follow.

Wojnarski held a different perspective, asserting that this was about aiding children in embracing their individuality.

“Those students who are grappling with their identity and those who find themselves in precarious predicaments at home ought to have a safe haven to express themselves freely, without fear of judgment, ridicule, or backlash,” remarked Wojnarski. “Our responsibility towards these students, now more than ever, is to provide them a secure space for self-realization.”