A name every Albertan should know

Dr. Kristopher Wells’ influence within education, politics, sports, media and academia is truly remarkable. Consider some of his contributions:

Youth & K-12 Education

  • Leader of professional development sessions for K-12 educators on topics such as diversity, inclusion and supporting LGBTQ youth GSAs Teacher Guide cover
  • Author of the Alberta Teachers’ Association’s Teacher’s Guide for Gay-Straight Alliances
  • Co-founder of Camp FYrefly, “Canada’s only national leadership retreat for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-identified, two-spirited, intersexed, queer, questioning, and allied youth,” which has now also expanded to a Grade 7-12 school program

Politics

  • Contributor to several of the research studies and publications listed as resources
    in Alberta Education’s Guidelines document (pages 16-18)
  • Cited by several politicians as being a key influence in the promotion and content of Bill 10 (Hansard for March 10, 2015, pages 541, 545 and 548)
  • First person to have formal audience with PC Premier Jim Prentice after Prentice was sworn in as premier. In a Global News interview, Dr. Wells said “the fact that this was the first meeting on his very first day I think can’t be underestimated. It signals an important message.”


Sports

  • Member of the national Trans Inclusion in Sport Expert Working Group, which is completing a guide for Canadian sport organizations “to assist them in developing policies and practices for the full inclusion of transgender individuals in all levels of sport, including schools”
  • Co-founder of Pride Tape


Academia & Media

  • Faculty Director at the Institute for Sexual Minorities Studies and Services (iSMSS), reported to be “home to one of the world’s most influential and internationally recognized centres for the advancement of gay rights.” (Oct 8, 2014 Global News)
  • Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta, where he inspires and influences our society’s future leaders
  • Frequently interviewed by media as an expert authority on any issue related to sexual orientation and gender identity


Yet, in the midst of all his accomplishments and his fervent championing of human rights, it is astounding to witness the profound disrespect that Dr Wells freely and unapologetically parades through the public sphere.

Depiction of religious groups

KW Nazi cartoon
Not only do many Albertans find this image profoundly offensive on its own, but it is made even more disturbing because it is an altered version of the original image created to remember the 21 Coptic Christian Egyptians executed by ISIS  in Libya in February 2015:

Sheila Gunn Reid on alterations from original

KW original cartoon coptic Christians
After a backlash on Twitter, Dr Wells unapologetically posted the following:

KW block button2

The following dialogue ensued when Dr Wells was questioned on why he deleted the original tweet. Note the only apology he provided related to the image’s “authenticity”:

KW deleted because of authenticity part 1
Unfortunately, this complete lack of respect was not an isolated incident.

In March, an Albertan blogger shared her concerns regarding a comic that Dr Wells posted on Twitter, entitling her post “Dr. Kris Wells: Inclusiveness expert or anti-religion propagator?

this clearly shows his alignment with the hateful organization that came up with this comic and that his objective is not to prevent the bullying of the LGBTQ community, but rather to spread hatred and to bully the Christian community and persons with any sort of sexual morality that does not meet up with his own set of ideologies. Dr. Wells’ demands for ‘inclusive’ policies in Alberta schools clearly don’t extend to anyone who disagrees with his way of thinking in terms of sexuality or religion.”

I encourage you to read more from her post by clicking the image below:

Dr Wells from Clarissa blog

Mischaracterization of parental concerns

Dr. Wells’ public display of disrespect extends to other groups as well.

On May 14th Parents for Choice in Education (PCE) sponsored tremendously successful simultaneous peaceful rallies at the Legislature (Edmonton) and McDougall Centre (Calgary), with 4300+ in attendance who respectfully voiced concerns regarding parental involvement in education

However, Dr. Wells – who was not even present at the rally to hear for himself the perspectives that were shared – promoted an alarmingly inaccurate characterization of the thousands of Albertans who participated in the event:

Dr Wells stupid is stupid does2

But he didn’t stop there.  According to a June 13th Edmonton Metro article about the Mayor’s Pride Brunch, which took place the morning after the horrific Orlando shooting, Dr. Wells again made reference to those who attended the PCE rallies:

Kris Wells knew he had a captive audience Sunday at the Mayor’s Pride Brunch and he didn’t hesitate to use the opportunity… Many speakers alluded to the shooting but chose to concentrate on the celebration of youth. Wells did, too, but couldn’t resist pouncing ever-so-noticeably on some in the crowd, including leaders from political parties whose members sometime run off-message when it comes to strong support for the LGBTQ community. “We can’t forget that people still come to legislature to protest against the right of LGBTQ youth to be safe in their classrooms,”

…. “Just look at the legislature and look at those parties that still refuse to or won’t support the minister of education’s LGBTQ guidelines, or the parents groups that are protesting against the right of LGBTQ youth to be safe in schools,” he said.

“These kinds of messages of intolerance, prejudice and discrimination are what spawn into hate and what turn into violence.”

Notice that while other speakers respectfully chose to “concentrate on the celebration of youth”, Dr. Wells seemed to use the tragedy as a platform to advance a political agenda and to publicly malign parent groups.

In fact, his comments seem to imply an offensive and outrageous illogical association between the violence of the Orlando massacre and Albertans’ concerns about parental involvement in education (which he erroneously misrepresents as protesting “against the right of LGBTQ youth to be safe”).  

How can anyone of such tremendous influence within our government, media and the education of our youth be permitted to publicly misrepresent and vilify groups of people in our province and yet still be considered an “expert” on respect for diversity, inclusion and providing a “welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment” in Alberta schools?

And why is it that mainstream media will devote days to exploring a supposed endorsement of a “homophobic” Facebook comment by Derek Fildebrandt, yet refuse to even acknowledge the repeatedly disrespectful public behaviour of an “anti-bullying” expert?

Now that the Minister of Education has confirmed that sexual orientation and gender identity will be part of the new curriculum, Dr. Wells is eagerly offering his expert assistance.

KW can't wait to assist with curriculum

As electors, parents and taxpayers of Alberta, we are each considered stakeholders in our publicly funded education system.

And we must demand better.

We all have a responsibility to ensure that the education of K-12 students in our province is undertaken by those who are most qualified -and that includes the consultants and experts who work behind the scenes to develop the policies, legislation and curriculum which shape our next generation.

I encourage Albertans to communicate with the Minister of Education  to insist that his office exercises wisdom, discretion and transparency in the selection of those responsible for positions of influence and authority within our education system (Email: edmonton.calder@assembly.ab.ca; Phone: 780 427 5010; Twitter: @davideggenAB).

Remind the Minister of Education that those who malign groups of people, while claiming to protect others, are not defending human rights – they are simply trading discrimination of one group for another. And this type of behaviour is not a solution to hate and bullying. It is a root cause.

Albertans must insist that those in positions of influence within our K-12 education system are committed to true equality – an equality that demonstrates that all people are equally worthy of respect.

Desmond Tutu quote about seeing others as enemy

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8 comments

  1. Ron Voss

    “Yet, in the midst of all his accomplishments and his fervent championing of human rights, it is astounding to witness the profound disrespect that Dr Wells freely and unapologetically parades through the public sphere”. Such undeserved generosity (“in the midst of all his accomplishments and his fervent championing of human rights”) for a man who hates Christians and parental rights, clearly a Christianophobe, a disrespectful enemy of Christianity par excellence! One needs to keep in mind that this is an academic whose views are very influential in shaping Alberta’s education system via a sympathetic NDP socialist government aligned with Wells’ ideological views. Karl Marx likewise professed to hate religion, to be the enemy of Christianity. In his Communist Manifesto (1848), Marx described, “Religion is the opiate of the people.”

    You ask, “How can anyone of such tremendous influence within our government, media and the education of our youth be permitted to publicly misrepresent and vilify groups of people in our province and yet still be considered an ‘expert’ on respect for diversity, inclusion and providing a ‘welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment’?” Easy, because Wells’ ideological views align with those of Education Minister Eggen and the NDP government. Thus, Eggen has recently announced a full-scale project costing $64.4 million over six years to overhaul Alberta’s education curricula that he will be proceeding full force in incorporating his ideological leftwing agenda into what is taught in Alberta’s schools, by, for example, including topics such as climate change, gender diversity and sexual orientation. The new plan for kindergarten to Grade 4 is to be done by 2018. Hence, your encouragement for Albertans “to communicate with the Minister of Education to insist that his office exercises wisdom, discretion and transparency in the selection of those responsible for positions of influence and authority within our education system” while laudable, sadly, the reality is that such objections will fall on deaf ears.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jani

      @RonVoss, it is easy for us to stand aside, observe and criticize. Even though your view is valid and may become the reality. I would like to hear what you have to suggest or have done to prevent this ideology penetrated into our school curriculum.

      Like

      • Ron Voss

        I don’t know if it is necessarily so “easy” to criticize in today’s politically-correct climate, where great offence is taken to any counter view. I don’t even feel that what I said, an observation, should be regarded as “criticism”. Those who hold a view that writing to Eggen will cause him to change direction can hold that view, but I don’t think it will cause him to relinquish his ideological leftist views.
        In my view, paramount is the establishment of parental rights in the education of their children and resist any attempt by the state to use the education system to impose its ideology. On the political front, hopefully one of Alberta’s political parties will make that a key plank in its platform. Totalitarians understand full well that if they can take control of the education system, they can control the shaping of the culture. Thus Hitler understood, writing in Mein Kampf, “whoever has the youth has the future”. Ultimately, as recognized by Abraham Lincoln, “The philosophy of the classroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the givernment in the next”. Apart from the political front, I believe parents in the interest of protecting their children should do all they can to resist state control of education. There needs to be an understanding that there is no such thing as neutrality. Baptist Voddie Baucham has observed, “If you send your kids to Caesar to be educated, then don’t be surprised if they come back as Romans”. One of the ways parents can respond would be to pull their kids out of the public school and homeschool. If there was a massive removal of kids from the school system, then I expect Egged would get the message and likely listen. If there is little or no resistance, then I expect that’s they will press on with even deeper penetration of their ideology into the education system as per the announced $64 million to ‘modernize’ the curriculum. These are some of my prelimary thoughts on the matter, and now I would like to hear from you (or anyone else for that matter) as to what you propose should have been done or should be done to prevent this ideology from penetrating into our school curriculum?
        In order to tackle a problem you have to understand the problem and the source of the problem. A book that I would recommend is “Crimes of the Educators – How Utopians Are Using Government Schools to Destroy American Schools” by Samuel Blumenfeld and Alex Neuman.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Kady

    Wow. Mr. Wells has disqualified himself from being a part of any school curriculum. I hope the Minister of education sees that. But I have a feeling that he won’t. Not without public backlash.

    Like

  3. Pingback: Gay-Straight Alliances: What you need to know | informed albertans
  4. John Squire

    I agree with what Ron Voss is saying. It is 100% wrong, not to mention illegal, to prevent parents from having control over their children’s education. That seems to be the direction thar Minister Eggen and his advisors appear to be headed in leaving parents out of the right to know, and the right to choose what their children are doing in school

    Like

  5. Pingback: You think you know what Alberta students learn in school? | informed albertans
  6. Tris Pargeter

    What about the right of a child to be educated in the context of the actual times we live in? And speaking of ideology, it’s high time that all these religious people that have had free rein to infiltrate the public school system here in Alberta with THEIR medieval religious ideology be called out on that. To further sanction this unnatural, punitive, out of step with modernity, (not to mention reality) philosophy, they require impressionable children and a closed system, which is the very definition of indoctrination within a cult, not actual education. When they speak of diversity, they just mean all the different religions. This will include Islam. Are they truly desperate enough to keep the bubble they live in intact that they will allow THAT? The touted basis of religion is supposedly “morality,” a.k.a. “right” and “wrong” and is itself based on the assumption that a god exists as a moral arbiter. That is a pure invention of the human mind. Where is the critical thinking here, which can be seen as the whole point of education? Within these suffocating religious texts, the doctrine declares atypical sexuality of ANY kind to be simply wrong, not to mention heterosexuality itself, which is the grudgingly accepted norm! Obviously there needs to be age-appropriate presentation, but the first right of a child in the context of education, is not to LIE to them about the very nature of reality for starters, where some mythical supernatural being oversees humanity. As if! What an insult to our powers of reason and our inherent intelligence, evolved over all this time! All religious doctrine is not just an increasingly obviously dangerous lie, it is also an egregious insult to our collective, particular human dignity. And that dignity resides most purely in the impressionable, curious and open minds of our children. That is why I consider religion to be a form of child abuse.

    Like

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