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Youth
 
BC Principal Moves to Stop School Club Formation
Warning issued to teachers:  no gay straight alliance

IN a move reminiscent of many American experiences, a British Columbia high school principal has warned teachers that the formation of a gay straight alliance will not be allowed.

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Chuck Nelson of North Surrey's Tamanawis Secondary School told the Vancouver Sun late last week that although he had only heard of plans from a teacher "if I found out for such a fact that there was such a club happening, then I'd have to investigate."

The Sun reported that the Surrey school board had decided last month to forbid the formation of any gay straight alliances in its schools pending the development of rules for them.  A memo to principals to that effect was issued.

These actions follow the vote by the BC Teachers Federation in late March in favour of creating gay straight alliances in BC middle and high schools, and the suicide two weeks before that of fourteen-year-old straight student Hamed Nastoh.  The Surrey youth's suicide note said he could no longer tolerate harassment for being, among other things, gay.

Surrey Teachers' Association Vice-President Trish Kelley told the Sun that the Board's decision violates a non-discrimination term in their collective agreement and will be subject to a grievance.

Discussion on setting up the club had reportedly only occurred a few days before the warning was issued.