I accept you for who you are in every way: Premier David Eby's message to BC students

British Columbia is a place where everyone should feel free to be who they are, without discrimination. Sadly, not everyone feels that way.

On September 20, transphobic protestors will rally in communities across Canada and in BC against what they call “gender ideology in schools”. Their hate, fueled by far-right extremism, is not welcome in our province, and our Premier agrees.

Premier David Eby and the BC NDP marching in the Vancouver Pride Parade

Here's an excerpt from his letter to the president of the BC Teachers Federation, sent today.

"School must be a place where every student feels secure and respected so they can focus on learning. It has been upsetting and distressing to see misinformation and disinformation used to attack some of our most vulnerable children and youth.

I have some messages I wish to share with school communities.

A kid makes a heart with their hands in front of a pride flag

To every teacher and support staff: You are my heroes.

Your dedication to your students is inspiring. Thank you for all you do for my children and all of the children in the province.

A person holds a homemade sign that says 'trans rights are human rights'

To every student: We may not have met, I may not know your name, and I may not know your favourite music, but I want you to know this: I accept you for who you are in every way.

My job as premier is to ensure you all have a safe learning environment so you can pursue your dreams.

A mom and her daughter wave a pride flag

To every parent and guardian: I know you love and support your children, as I do mine.

As parents and guardians, we are taking on the most important job we will ever have. I know we are united in ensuring that all of our kids have an opportunity to learn in a safe, welcoming environment.

A woman at a rally holds a sign that says 'pride over prejudice'

Earlier this year, the province launched a K-12 anti-racism action plan.

It is a critical step forward for students, educators, staff and families in creating school communities that are welcoming and supportive for people of all backgrounds, beliefs and perspectives.

We believe all students deserve to be respected in a safe learning environment while being fully and completely themselves. The BC SOGI Educator Network helps make our schools more inclusive and welcoming so that children express themselves in their own unique way.

All of BC’s 60 school districts and the Federation of Independent School Associations are members of the Provincial K-12 SOGI Collaborative. This consensus approach was introduced by a BC Liberal government and continues under our BC NDP government. It was supported by all parties that won standing in the Legislature in the last election and it is my sincere hope that all leaders denounce these attacks on vulnerable students.

School must be a place where all students, staff and families feel safe, a place where everyone feels they belong and where respect is shown for each other’s differences. The safety of all children must always come first.

Premier David Eby waves to the crowd from the Vancouver Pride Parade

Without hesitation, I denounce threats, hate and violence against 2SLGBTQIA+ communities.

We are seeing a concerning rise in incidents where trans people are being targeted with threats and violence in person and online.

We cannot — and must not — stand idly by in the face of any kind of bullying. Any political leader who targets out most vulnerable, at-risk children and youth is no leader at all.

Our education system and school resources are designed to ensure all students have the best opportunity to thrive, to learn, and to grow in safety without the threat of intimidation or discrimination." - Premier David Eby

People attending a pride parade wave a giant flag

Together with Premier Eby, the BC NDP commends everyone who stands against threats, hate and violence against marginalized communities.

The road to equity is long, but we will walk with you, every step of the way.

If you want to join us and stand against hate, sign up below for updates from our movement.