|Quinn Maloney-Tavares and Polly Hamilton (source)|
The students’ projects go on display at a social justice fair in January, attended by students from Grades 4 to 6. Beauchamp didn’t feel gay rights “was a topic that was appropriate for that age group,” Maloney said.
The principal was also concerned that she’d face criticism from “right-wing” Catholic parents if she allowed the project to proceed, Maloney said.
Then a media firestorm happened, and so the school said it was all a really big misunderstanding -- they could totally do the project and everything! Well, they should have just let them do the project, because by then, the girls had gotten in touch with gay rights activist Jeremy Dias and they were talking about starting up the first ever GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) in a Catholic elementary school.
In addition to doing their project, Quinn and Polly are now also hoping to start a gay-straight alliance (GSA) at St George’s. They got the idea after meeting with Jeremy Dias, who runs Jer’s Vision, an anti-bullying and -homophobia organization, after news about the vetoing of their project broke.
This was back in December and I have wondered on and off how things were progressing -- if at all. Happily, the Huffington Post has done an excellent job telling the entire story up to last week!
So, in December, they put in their request and began to observe how a nearby Catholic high-school runs their GSA. However, months went by and the girls are set to graduate from their current school in June.
"The teacher that they gave us … just doesn't have enough time. All the recesses that we would be doing the GSA, she's not free," said Polly. "And we don't really get any explanations from anybody. Recently we were told to make a proposal to the principal, we have no idea what that meant. Like, proposal on what? Marriage?"
How mysterious! No, wait, not mysterious at all. This is what the school's been up to for awhile now.
"I think the principal is trying to make it go away until next year," said Quinn, "and we'll be at the other school so…"
Yup. However, these girls are unstoppable!
"But we have a couple Grade 5s that could start it off next year, too," piped in Polly.
"Our friend, her grandma is lesbian, so it would be a really good thing because she agrees with us and she's totally with it," added Quinn.
I think what this is really making clear to me is that it's the school administration that are the odd ones here! Being gay is now so normal in society that the principal and the school really do look like that old homophobic uncle you might run into at a family reunion.
"My parents and me, we have a lot of gay and lesbian friends," Quinn added. "So I just want to show them that I do actually appreciate [them]."
Huffpo contacted one of the school administrators and asked how it could possible take six months to start a club and if any other clubs have ever taken this long. According to the official, it's actually the girls' busy schedules that have caused delay!
This whole insanity has taken a toll on the girls faith in humanity -- or shall we say, faith in the Catholic school system?
"We're a practicing Catholic family … until recently," she explains. "I really like the way the Ottawa Catholic School Board did French, and my husband and I have been 100 per cent happy with the academics. But we hadn't anticipated this."
She added both Quinn and Polly refused to be confirmed this year. "I get that. How can you be confirmed in a faith that you've been so disappointed in?"
However, just last week, they submitted another proposal to the principal and it was accepted. The first ever GSA in an elementary school in Canada is finally... probably... hopefully a reality!
"We have a bunch of books that are for, like, the little kids. That's our rainbow library, that's what we call it. And we're going to set up a couple boxes in classrooms so that people who want to see a change in our school, they could just put [ideas for] what we could do better in that box," said Polly of heir plans.
"And we could just talk about equality and stuff."
Six months of struggle for this! Think of what might be possible if you didn't have to literally swim up river against the retrograde teachings of the Catholic Church when it comes to LGBT! I'm happy for them -- they are amazing! -- their school, on the other hand, needs all the help it can get.
Then you have comments like this one...
Terrible job raising these kids especially claiming to be catholi (sic). Homosexuality is clearly a sin in the catholic faith. Sure rebel against how God commanded you to live. The parents should have taught them to respect their faith and not to be like everyone else who lives in the world including non believers. God does call believers in the faith to be different than those who live worldly secular lives. Being gay is NOT ok, it is a sexual sin that is so bad the bible refers to it as an abomination. If you disagree take it up with God! This isn't a public school this is like these school officials bowing down to Satan, utterly disgusting.
Except that this isn't a private school. In Ontario, the Catholic schools are publicly funded. As such, students should have every right to start up GSAs like what these two brave and intelligent girls have done! Kudos to Quinn and Polly! I can tell they're going to go a long long way!
via Huffington Post