Out in Schools resolves NPA's booklet concerns
Antihomophobia advocateRoss Johnstone wants to move past the kerfuffle that came about in the municipal election campaign over a Vancouver educators’ guide.
Johnstone is the education director of Out in Schools, a program that promotes antibullying through film. In September, then–school-board candidates Ken Denike and Sophia Woo of the NPA raised concerns over alleged pornographic content in a booklet for teachers printed by Out in Schools.
Johnstone met with Denike but wasn’t able to reach Woo. He added that, in October, Out in Schools printed new teaching material that didn’t contain a web link to Health Initiative for Men, an organization dedicated to gay health concerns. This link was the subject of Denike and Woo’s alarm.
According to Johnstone, Out in Schools also took down the HIM link from his program’s website in August. Denike and Woo were elected to the school board.
“I really actually see this as an opportunity to meet with elected trustee Woo and help her learn about the positive work that we’re doing,” Johnstone told the Straight in a phone interview.
Woo is content to know that the HIM link doesn’t appear online and in print in Out in Schools’ materials. “I support antibullying,” Woo told the Straight in a phone interview. “I support having a safe and respectful environment in the school system.”