Paul Tuns:

Campaign Life Coalition launched its inaugural “National ‘Pride” Flag Walk-Out Day” on June 1, the first day that many institutions, including schools, mark with celebrations of the homosexual and transgender lifestyle. In-house conversations indicated that CLC would be thrilled with even 10 per cent of parents keeping their kids at home that day. Media reports, however, show some schools had absentee rates of 50 per cent or more, with CLC national president Jeff Gunnarson telling The Interim, “the huge success of the first-ever ‘National Pride Walk-Out Day’ is a strong indication that parents are fed-up with the homosexual and transgender indoctrination that is occurring in schools.”

Local media reports indicate that two schools experienced a 60 per cent absentee rate or greater, while another nine schools had 40 per cent or more of their desks empty on June 1. In Oakville, Ont., some schools experienced a 30 per cent absentee rate and Northwood Public School in Windsor, Ont., had a 75 per cent absentee rate on June 1, with 600 of 800 students remaining home that day; the local president of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario union said that other schools also had more than 50 per cent of students absent. Reports in London and Toronto did not provide numbers although sources said that there were a significant number of absences in some schools; in London, about a third of students at the city’s largest school, Eagle Heights elementary school, were absent for International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia on May 18.

In New Brunswick, there were reports that more than half of students in the province were held home for June, putting pressure on Progressive Conservative Premier Blaine Higgs to announce the outcome of his government’s review of LGBTQ policies.

The success of the walk-out protest came despite the campaign’s short notice. On May 25 — less than a week before the planned walk-out — CLC sent out an eblast from Gunnarson asking parents to keep their children at home the first day of June when many schools raise the rainbow pride flag or the so-called progress flag which also incorporates transgender pink and baby blue along with brown and black for Black Lives Matter. The missive from CLC also urged grandparents to talk to their adult children about the campaign. Gunnarson said parents had to push back against schools are that “grooming” children into the homosexual or transgender lifestyle.

CLC director of political operations Jack Fonseca explained in a separate blog post, “By that empty desk, show them you refuse to accept the LGBT lobby’s claim of ownership on the heart, mind and soul of your son, daughter or grandchild!”

CLC also organized five pray-ins on June 1 at the diocesan offices in Hamilton, Ottawa, and Toronto, and in front of the school board offices in Toronto and Welland, Ont. Gunnarson explained, “We will spend an hour quietly praying for spiritual leadership – that our Church leaders may publicly demand all institutions and school boards under their respective jurisdictions cease to celebrate LGBT ‘Pride Month’ in any way, including flying or displaying the gay rainbow flag, and that any institution that refuses be stripped of the “Catholic” title.”

Nearly 25,000 people signed CLC’s petition launched last month urging all school board trustees to “take a stand against flying the controversial gay-and-transgender pride flag on school property, and to institute a policy whereby the only flag permitted to be flown, is the Canadian flag.” The petition notes that the “LGBT Pride flag is a political symbol that divides our communities and creates conflict” — by making children of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh families feel “uncomfortable and unsafe at school” — and therefore it “has no place on the school grounds.”

Gunnarson said of the massive response to the petition when it reached 20,000 signatures, “This significant milestone coincides with a nationwide uprising of parents from diverse ethnic and faith backgrounds who are demanding that LGBT activists leave their school-aged children alone and cease indoctrinating them with sexual and gender ideologies.”

CLC also launched a petition that garnered nearly 4000 signatures in a few days urging Catholic bishops to tell Catholic school boards to cease flying the LGBTQ flag.

Also, on June 9 in Ottawa, there was an “Education over Indoctrination Rally” organized by student activist Josh Alexander and Chris “Billboard Chris” Elston, two Canadians that have gained international attention for their opposition to the promotion of transgenderism in schools.