A school has banned a series of anti-homophobia workshops after a parent complained about a gay image given to students.
Prima Danse had given two workshops, out of four planned, in Sherbrooke, Quebec in Canada.
Anti-homophobia workshops given to sixth graders
In one class for 11 and 12-year-olds, sixth graders were a shown a photo. It showed former Canadian football player Étienne Boulay and former soccer player David Testo in each other’s arms.
Testo is gay, while Boulay is straight.
The photo was part of the Imaginary Couples exhibition by photographer Olivier Ciappa.
A father of a student who attended the workshop complained to the school, prompting the school board to terminiate its agreement with Prima Danse.
Father claims child was ’embarrassed’ after seeing the photo
Katrina Journeau, director of Prima Danse, told CBC the father told her ‘students in the sixth grade shouldn’t necessarily need to hear about homosexuality.’
The father also claimed his child was ’embarrassed’ after seeing the photo.
For Journeau, who has taught the workshops over 50 times, she says this is the first time she’s had a complaint.
Two Quebec cabinet ministers have defended Prima Danse and are urging the school board to reconsider its decision.
Families Minister Luc Fortin said: ‘It’s part of reality and I think it’s quite legitimate for those kids to be aware of issues around homophobia.’
The school board have said they may reconsider if Prima Danse makes changes to the content.
Sex ed will be mandatory in Quebec elementary and high schools from next year.