Is BC’s new school 'bubble zone' legislation about keeping kids safe or keeping parents in the dark?

New protest-free zone legislation — which targets protesters opposed to gender ideology and SOGI 123 in schools — has some questioning whether or not the measure is just another strike against parental rights in B.C.

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On April 10, British Columbia’s NDP premier announced the province's plans to target parental rights protests against the province's controversial Sexual Orientation and Gender Ideology program (SOGI 123) by introducing legislation to prevent “disruptive behaviour,” including certain “aggressive protests” near school grounds.

The strike against freedom of expression and the right to peacefully gather in protest will allow police to arrest or fine demonstrators up to $2000 each if they are deemed to be “disrupting educational activities” or “attempting to intimidate” any individual within 20 meters of a school. If found guilty of this act, the protester could receive up to six months imprisonment.

“While everyone has a right to freedom of expression, disrupting or scaring kids while they’re learning in schools should be, and soon will be, illegal,” Premier David Eby said.

Eby did not beat around the bush about anti-SOGI and gender ideology protesters being the motivation behind the stiff law. “It never crossed my mind to be worried that a grown adult would be waiting on the school perimeter to yell at my child about pornographic books, about puberty blockers, about schools brainwashing kids.”

The measure is similar to a bill Eby introduced in 2021, while serving as B.C.’s attorney general. That bill, which targeted pro-freedom protesters opposed to COVID-measures, established a 20-meter protest-free “bubble zone” around hospitals and clinics.

“During the pandemic, when hospitals and health-care workers became the target of anti-vaccine protests, we took action so doctors and nurses could get to work and patients could access care. As schools increasingly become the target, we’re taking similar action to ensure classrooms are safe for kids,” said Eby.

According to Eby, the province has experienced “18 major disruptions” since the start of the 2023/24 school year which have included “people banging on the school windows,” an act that would already have been deemed unlawful under the province's School Act.

In today’s report, I interview activists who have participated in anti-SOGI rallies who say Eby’s news school “bubble zone” legislation is just another way of trying to silence the ever-growing opposition to an age inappropriate SOGI-123 program in schools. They also give examples of the concerning state backed lessons and political agendas they believe are being pushed on to kids behind school doors.

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