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Rallies for and against school board sex-ed policies return to Windsor’s riverfront


A rally and counter-protest were simultaneously hosted at Windsor’s riverfront Saturday over sexual education and LGBTQ2S+ polices at local schools.

“Leave our kids alone” was the rally cry of about 100 people at the protest at Windsor’s Dieppe Gardens, hoping to press local school boards about sexual education reading materials being used in schools.

“It should be our choice what they're taught. If he wants to teach him sex education and anything in this book, then we'll do it. Not the government and not the schools. It's the parents’ right,” said Connie Bensette, who took part in the rally.

One of the group’s organizers, Pat Copus, said it’s not about banning books, rather ensuring they are age appropriate.

“I agree that you know, you have to educate children about sex, but how far they're going with it… I don't think it's a good idea the way they're teaching,” said Copus.

Also at issue is the public school board’s gender identity policy, which allows students to change their pronouns and identify at school without informing parents.

“Don't project your agenda on our children, and don't tell parents how to raise their children. That's it,” said Rob Cheshire, who attended the rally.

The rally wasn’t as well-attended as the previous ‘1 Million March 4 Children’ event, where close to 1,000 people marched to the school board office looking for change to these policies.

The public board wouldn't comment on that rally and march but did say they listen to concerns and suggestions through established protocols.

As with the September protest, a counter-protest was also staged Saturday, calling it a movement motivated by hate.

“This protest that they're holding is targeting vulnerable youth who are already vulnerable to experiencing things like bullying and to being outed to unsafe situations, and the policies that they're proposing would put these queer and trans kids in more danger,” said Sydney Brouillard-Coyle, an LGBTQ2S+ rights activist.

Despite the contrasting views, things remained civil between the rallies.

“We can't change their minds. They can't change ours. We respect that,” said Copus. “I don't know why we have to have anti-protesters because, you know, how can we be against parents?”

Sydney Brouillard-Coyle disagrees that teaching youth about LGBTQ2S+ issues should be suppressed.

“Learning about the existence of queer and trans people doesn't make them queer and trans. It just encourages them to be more accepting,” said Brouillard-Coyle. “And then for those who are queer, trans, it lets them know that who they are is valid and that they deserve to be loved and to find that safe space.” Top Stories

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