Silent protests are being held this week in response to Red Deer Public Schools rejecting a Pride Week in favour of a Diversity Week last month. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Silent protests are being held this week in response to Red Deer Public Schools rejecting a Pride Week in favour of a Diversity Week last month. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Central Albertans protest Red Deer Public Schools’ Pride Week decision

Central Albertans are silently protesting Red Deer Public Schools’ decision to not recognize Pride Week.

Last month, the RDPS board of trustees received criticism from the LGBTQ community after rejecting a district-wide Pride Week in favour of a Diversity Week.

READ MORE: Defeat of Pride Week motion at Red Deer Public Schools catches heat

The Black and Indigenous Alliance Alberta began hosting a week of silent protests outside of the public school’s division office Wednesday. The protests continued Thursday and Friday, and will run until next Wednesday.

“A lot of folks think diversity equals equality, and it doesn’t,” said Kisha Daniels, BIA co-founder.

“You can diversify things, but that doesn’t mean the environment is inclusive. It totally neglects the histories, the trials and triumphs of the queer community.”

Daniels was disappointed to see the school board vote against recognizing Pride Week.

“I have two queer children, so I was bothered by it. I know what they went through in school, so I really wish schools would understand what inclusivity means,” said Daniels.

Each protest is being held from 3-5 p.m. at the division office at 4747 53 St., to show support for the LGBTQ+ communities.

Red Deer Public Schools acknowledged the protest in a statement Friday morning.

“We appreciate the right to peaceful protests and public gatherings, and we respect the opinions expressed of others,” the statement said, adding the board of trustees has listened to significant feedback on this decision and recognizes the perspectives expressed on this matter across our community.

On Wednesday, protesters placed signs, posters, heart shaped messages and other drawings at the entrance of the Central Services building, the statement said.

“All items were removed, but retained, to be shared with the board of trustees. A colourful chalk design was also drawn on the sidewalk at the front entrance which has been left in place.”

READ MORE: Pride Week petition gains momentum

Representatives from the Black and Indigenous Alliance have been approved to speak with the board, the school statement said.

“Red Deer Public Schools works in cooperation with the Red Deer RCMP who were aware of the protests and approached the division. The Community Policing Section of the RCMP, which includes School Resource Officers, who work in our schools, was on site for a short period of time to ensure everything went smoothly.”

Saturday’s protest will feature speakers to educate others on queer issues. On Tuesday there will be a pride party. All attendees are asked to wear masks and keep a respectable distance from each other due to COVID-19.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Silent protests are being held this week in response to Red Deer Public Schools rejecting a Pride Week in favour of a Diversity Week last month. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Silent protests are being held this week in response to Red Deer Public Schools rejecting a Pride Week in favour of a Diversity Week last month. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Silent protests are being held this week in response to Red Deer Public Schools rejecting a Pride Week in favour of a Diversity Week last month. (Photo courtesy Black and Indigenous Alliance Facebook)

Silent protests are being held this week in response to Red Deer Public Schools rejecting a Pride Week in favour of a Diversity Week last month. (Photo courtesy Black and Indigenous Alliance Facebook)

Just Posted

(Image from Facebook)
Some rural central Alberta students return to online learning

Grades 6 to 12 at Coronation School impacted

Instructor Brandt Trimble leads an outdoor spin class at RYDE RD. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Fitness facilities continue to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions

‘It’s really frustrating to be one of the targeted businesses’

Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins (Photo contributed)
Federal budget strangles job growth, says MP Blaine Calkins

‘It is most certainly not a balanced budget’

Kids at Lotsa’Tots West Day Care in Red Deer act out how a caterpillar moves with co-owner and instructor Shireen Sewcharran-Wiebe. Child care providers are hoping Alberta’s provincial government will help fund the national child care program announced this week. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Alberta day care providers hope Alberta will get onboard with national child care program

Some question whether the UCP’s ideology will stand in the way

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney shakes hands with Jason Nixon, minister of Environment and Parks after being sworn into office, in Edmonton on Tuesday April 30, 2019. Town council from the largest municipality in Nixon's constituency is concerned over the province's consultation plans for open-pit coal mining in the Rocky Mountains. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Town of Rocky Mountain House wants better coal consultation

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE, Alta. — Town council from the largest municipality in… Continue reading

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

A man walks into a Cargill meat processing factory. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Site of COVID outbreak last year: Vaccination clinic at Alberta meat plant postponed

HIGH RIVER, Alta. — A COVID-19 vaccination clinic for thousands of workers… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks at a television screen as he listens to United States President Joe Biden deliver a statement during a virtual joint statement following a virtual meeting in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘We hope to help a little more’: Biden says he spoke to Trudeau about more vaccines

WASHINGTON — Canada can look forward to an unexpected shot in the… Continue reading

The Mission Correctional Institution in Mission, B.C. is pictured Tuesday, April 14, 2020. A new federal study found that people released from prison were much more likely than the general population to have trouble finding gainful employment, even over a decade after returning to society. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Ease employment hurdles for former prison inmates, federal study urges

OTTAWA — A new federal study found that people released from prison… Continue reading

Governor of the Bank of Canada Tiff Macklem holds a press conference at the Bank Of Canada in Ottawa on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Bank of Canada keeps rate on hold, sees brighter economic outlook

OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada is keeping its key interest rate… Continue reading

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. Tam says new information on COVID-19 and variants prompted the National Advisory Committee on Immunization to suddenly cancel its planned update on who should get the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
AstraZeneca advice from national panel delayed by new data on COVID-19 and variants

OTTAWA — Canada’s chief public health officer says new information on COVID-19… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks at a television screen as he listens to United States President Joe Biden deliver a statement during a virtual joint statement following a virtual meeting in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pressured to adopt tougher emissions target for Biden climate summit

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under pressure to step up… Continue reading

Passengers from Air India flight 187 from New Delhi wait for their transportation to quarantine after arriving at Pearson Airport in Toronto on Wednesday, April 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
ICU pressures mount as COVID fells younger people; Ottawa mulls India travel ban

TORONTO — Amid mounting pressures on critical care in hospitals and concerns… Continue reading

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland delivers the federal budget in the House of Commons as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on in Ottawa on Monday April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Three confidence votes to determine fate of minority Liberal government

OTTAWA — A pair of proposed changes to the federal budget put… Continue reading

Most Read