Niagara Catholic school board disagrees with trustees motion to reverse Pride flag policy

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Published June 9, 2023 at 11:18 am

When a motion to reverse the Niagara Catholic District School Board’s (NCDSB) policy comes before trustees on June 20, it is unlikely to be supported by the remainder at the table.

In fact, beyond that, it’s not supported by the board itself or the board’s Director of Education.

Trustees Natalia Benoit and Joe Bruzzese pushed to have the policy of flying the Pride flag for the month of June reversed at the May 23 meeting, claiming that it was pushing a specific ideology onto students and administration. However, it wasn’t on the agenda so it got pushed to this month.

But the NCDSB itself made it clear it did not support any reversal of the policy.

“We believe in creating a culture of equity and inclusiveness in our schools by celebrating the richness and diversity of our students, staff, and our families,” the board stated in a release.

“With these guiding principles in mind, and recognizing and respecting that many of our students, staff, and families are part of the LGBTQ2S+ community, Niagara Catholic will once again fly the Progress Pride flag at all schools and sites June 1-30, 2023, in accordance with Niagara Catholic’s Flag Flying Protocol.”

It added, “By flying the Progress Pride flag at our schools and sites, Niagara Catholic is creating a visible symbol of acceptance and safety for our students who identify as part of the LGBTQ2S+ community, and for their families and allies.”

NCDSB Director of Education Camillo Cipriano also made it clear he personally supported the present policy, saying he was “very disappointed” by Benoit’s and Bruzzese’s stance. “It is unfortunate we have members of our community who might think that way.”

Benoit, who represents St. Catharines and Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Bruzzese, who represents Niagara Falls, were two of the candidates supported at election time in October 2022 by the “Vote Against Woke” parents group.

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