A former Christian TV host and outspoken critic of the province’s sexual orientation and gender identity resource for schools is running for a spot at the Burnaby school board table.
Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson, a Christian blogger, author and former co-host of The 700 Club Canada, wasted no time stating what she believes to be the most important issue facing B.C. students.
“I think the most important issue facing schools is that parents are highly alarmed and very upset that children are being taught gender-fluid ideology. It has no place in school,” she told the NOW.
At rallies and on social media, Thompson has spoken against SOGI 123, a resource developed a couple years ago to help B.C. schools support gay, lesbian and transgender students and make schools more inclusive for them.
Supporters of the resource and the LGBTQ community have organized counter-protests at anti-SOGI events Thompson has been a part of, and she has become a controversial figure for her views.
When asked what should be put in place instead of SOGI 123 to help make schools more inclusive, she said, “What has always been there, love. The school is not there to solve those problems.”
Teachers should teach manners and reading, writing and arithmetic, according to Thompson, and leave issues of gender identity to professionals, like pediatricians and psychiatrists.
“A teacher is not trained, nor do they have the education to help a child dealing with gender identity,” she said.
Asked how she would support trans students as a trustee, Thompson said, “I would love them to pieces, and I would certainly say that that’s a serious issue that should be dealt with by a professional.”
While she admits to being anti-SOGI, Thompson said she is strongly against bullying. She said she was bullied herself during her only public school experience in the Arctic, where her parents worked as missionaries.
“I was the only white, blond girl in the entire school if you can imagine,” she told the NOW. “I stuck out like a sore thumb, and it was very scary, actually. It was very intimidating. It made me cry every day.”
Thompson’s parents were missionaries in both Uganda and the Arctic, and she grew up attending mostly private schools, she said.
Two of her three children also attended private schools, while the third went to public schools.
“I like private schools, personally,” she said. “I think that if you can afford it, many parents can’t afford that these days. If you can afford it, private schools are wonderful environments.”
Thompson, a New Westminster resident, said she chose to run in Burnaby because she anticipates the campaign will be “volatile.”
Since she started campaigning against SOGI publicly, she said she has received death threats and been called names, including homophobe, transphobe, Hitler and bigot.
The 700 Club Canada bid Thompson farewell in a statement two months ago, explaining she had moved on.
“She is pursuing what God has deeply placed on her heart, to address the changes we see in the realm of public education across Canada. She has been called by God ‘for such a time as this,’” read the statement.