A school in Canada seems to be competing with Glee's fictional character Karofsky for most annoying homophobic behavior. In a nasty bait and switch, the Catholic school, St. Joseph Catholic Secondary School, recently allowed its students involved in an "unofficial gay-straight alliance" (because official ones are banned) to hold an anti-homophobia event ... but THEN prohibited all rainbow banners and posters. Hissa-WHAT?!
Oh yes, yes, as crazy as this is, it is true through and through! Ludicrous, right? Does that mean the school also has something against Rainbow Brite pictures hanging in lockers? Maybe color-coding notebooks or homework assignments are off-limits, too? And uh-oh, what happens if a science teacher dares explain the phenomenon in class? Heh.
Maybe. Because St. Joseph's says the rainbow is "associated with Pride."
Thankfully, the kids were able to circumvent the rainbow ban by baking multi-colors into cupcakes. But sadly, that's just the tip of the icing-berg.
Students were also told they could not distribute booklets discussing gender identity, harassment in sports, AIDS Awareness, or safe sex; they could not donate the money from their bake sale to an LGBT charity (funds had to go to a Catholic homeless charity instead); and they could not mention their school's name at a Pride Parade.
Wow. I'm surprised they're even allowed to attend a Pride Parade without being threatened with suspension or something. How completely sad.
The real irony here is that the school let the kids have an anti-homophobia event when all of their other actions seem to show that they're TERRIFIED of gay kids being and standing up for themselves. I mean, really -- if you're gonna be a hater, just go on and hate, will ya? Don't dangle a hopeful carrot of open-mindedness and then slam the door in these kids' faces, making them feel like wrongdoing outsiders! That's just sick.
The good news is that Leanne Iskander, founder of the unofficial group at the school, is keeping her head held high. She and fellow students will march in the parade and give out buttons to support GSAs. It seems like these kids are just letting their school's restrictions and hate further motivate them to spread their message. It makes me proud!
If you want to help these kids make a difference, you can donate to help them pay for the buttons.
What do you think about the Catholic school banning rainbows? How about everything else they won't allow the unofficial GSA to do?
Image via Charlie Nguyen/Flickr