VANCOUVER - A group of teachers, students and parents is launching a court challenge of the suburban Surrey school board's decision to ban three elementary school books depicting same-sex parents.
The group filed a writ in B.C. Supreme Court yesterday aiming to overturn the ban on using teaching resources supplied by gay and lesbian groups to teach tolerance and understanding.
Surrey teacher James Chamberlain said he used the books, which tell stories about children who have two mothers or two fathers, in his classroom as part of a lesson about different kinds of families.
"I felt these were books that were age-appropriate to be used in the classroom within the context of a theme on families where I talk about all different kinds of families," he said.
Parent Diane Wilcott, one of the petitioners, said she read the banned books with her young son.
"He just got the story out of it," she said. "He didn't get that this was homosexuality. he saw that there were two dads and two mums.
"As long as children see relationships where they are loved and secure, they're really not uncomfortable. They don't read into it what adults read into it."
The petitioners say the board's decisions violate their Charter rights to equality and freedom of expression.
The also argue it's crucial the books are in the classroom to help combat prejudice and discrimination against gay and lesbian people. - Canadian Press
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