Ben & Jerry’s Canada is warning that far-right candidates “are trying to stack school boards” in the upcoming elections, and urges people to get out and vote.
“You may not be paying attention to who is running for school boards trustees,” the ice cream company tweeted. “But you should! The far-right is running candidates who are making our schools more dangerous for queer, trans, and racialized youth.”
They point out on their website that some might be seeing this attempt to influence school boards because trustees have the power to either restrict spending on supports for race, gender, sex education, or identity, – or they can protect the rights of teachers and students by talking and learning about these issues.
Some candidates that identify with the religious right-wing politically, branding themselves as “anti-woke” or “parental rights,” have been disparaging the anti-bullying program SOGI 123, which strives to make schools safe from bigotry and intolerance at the classroom level.
“School board trustees can have an enormous influence on spending and policies in schools, as well as what resources are available to teachers and students,” the online post reads.
As elections approach in many communities this weekend, the ice cream moguls are recommending that people “vote for schools that are safe for all kids” and highlight the work of the group AntiHate.ca
A number of provinces and territories are having elections in the next month including B.C., Northwest Territories, Ontario and Manitoba.
“Make sure your school board prioritizes the well-being of all children, regardless of race, gender, or sexuality,” they added.
Twitter account, Change 4 Chilliwack, noticed the B&J tweet, and retweeted with the comment: “you know it’s serious when Ben & Jerry’s weighs in.”
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