WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Is this the type of “help” the Alberta government should be funding for K-12 children?
The content of these articles is graphic. There are images of naked men being flogged and restrained with suggestions on how to use specific BDSM products, including links to purchase those items from an online sex shop. In the article about masturbation, your child is even advised to “pay for porn” and “visit a group masturbation night at your local sex club”.
These sexually graphic articles are examples of the content available on the “Fruit Loop” Facebook page, linked to as a “Community Support” on the Alberta GSA Network website to “help” K-12 children with their Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA).
Unbelievably, it only takes two clicks for K-12 children to easily access sexually graphic material from this website, which is funded with taxpayer money and even recommended by Alberta Education.
The Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS) is paid by the Alberta Government to organize the Alberta GSA Network, intended to support a target audience that includes children ages 5 to 17 years old.
Dr. Kristopher Wells, who is a Faculty Director with iSMSS and the “driving force” behind the creation of the Alberta GSA Network, has publicly shared posts from Fruit Loop on his own social media, including a “fast-paced ad” featuring naked young people who “share an erotic kiss on a tennis court” and “are often seen embracing, rolling around on the ground together.”
Clearly he is not ignorant of the sexually graphic content of their posts.
The iSMSS using government funds to provide access to sexually graphic content – especially masquerading under the banner of “support” for K-12 students – is an exploitation of the trust that children, parents and teachers place in our province’s education system.
It is true that sexually graphic content is available on the internet and kids could find it anyway.
However, using schools to intentionally direct and connect children to community organizations that peddle sexually graphic content is not safe or appropriate.
It is dangerous, reckless and wrong.
K-12 children who access GSAs are often already struggling and vulnerable. Exposure to the sexually graphic content made available through the Alberta GSA Network website puts these children at further risk of harm and victimization.
It is obvious the Ministry of Education is trusting the wrong people with the role of supporting 5 to 17-year-olds and creating “safe and caring” schools.
If this is the “help” iSMSS and Dr. Wells want to provide to Alberta’s kindergarten to Grade 12 students through our school system, then we don’t want it.
As parents and taxpayers of Alberta, we call on the Alberta government to immediately:
1. Suspend all funding to iSMSS.
2. Remove iSMSS and Dr. Wells from any influence over our province’s K-12 education system, including any provision of research, resources, counseling, teacher training and new curriculum development.
In order to ensure that schools are welcoming, caring, safe and respectful learning environments, Albertans must demand a higher standard when it comes to anyone entrusted with the support and care of K-12 children in this province – a much higher standard than the “support” currently being offered by iSMSS.
(March 14, 1 p.m.) In response to my blog article and this information becoming so public it seems the GSA Network website has now edited their list of community supports over the past hour. If you would like to verify the original list, please see the screen captures available in the GSA Network website supporting documentation (WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT).
The fact remains that iSMSS did not properly vet their links and community supports, which only proves their lack of competence when it comes to being trusted with the safety of our K-12 children.
Links and content so inappropriate for K-12 kids should never have been there in the first place, especially under the guise of “support”. If I hadn’t happened to personally stumble across the content, it would still be there. Why is it up to citizens to vet these government funded and recommended resources? Shouldn’t the Alberta government be hiring people who can do their job without volunteer citizens having to do it for them?
Removing a few links does not solve the problem. iSMSS and Dr. Wells have severely violated the public trust and should not be in a position of influence in our K-12 education system at all. Alberta children deserve better.
(March 15) Donna Trimble, Executive Director for Parents for Choice in Education, posted an excellent open letter to our elected representatives entitled “Which Alberta Politicians Will Stand Up for Our Children?!” Feel free to forward her letter to your MLAs and school board trustees.
Thank you to News Talk 770 with Danielle Smith for interviewing Donna Trimble, Executive Director of Parents for Choice in Education on March 14, 2017 about these concerns: LISTEN HERE FOR THE INTERVIEW
Thank you to Andrea Huncar from the CBC News who wrote an article about this topic
(March 16, 5:30 p.m.) I have started a petition to pressure the Alberta government to reveal the extent to which iSMSS is still involved in authority over our K- 12 education system.