Protestors participating in a pray-in event hosted by Campaign Life Coalition on June 3, 2024, held signs outside the Diocese of Hamilton office that urged Bishop Douglas Crosby and his pastoral team to take a stand against the LGBT ideology and the Pride flag having a place at Catholic schools. Photo courtesy Campaign Life Coalition

Schools, dioceses targeted by Pride flag walkout

  • June 4, 2024

“Yes to Jesus, no to Pride.” “Make Catholic Schools Catholic Again.” “We Need Spiritual Leadership.”

Parents, grandparents and community members carried signs bearing these messages at pray-in events throughout Ontario organized by Campaign Life Coalition on June 3 outside the headquarters of select Catholic school boards and the main office of the Archdiocese of Toronto and Diocese of Hamilton.

Demonstrators who participated in Campaign Life’s second annual National Pride Flag Walk-Out Day(s) from May 31 to June 4 protested Catholic schools for flying the flag during June and for permitting the LGBT ideology to take root in classrooms. They also prayed for teachers, trustees, administrators and support staff to be true spiritual leaders.  

According to Campaign Life, absence rates in some schools were 30 to 75 per cent during the inaugural crusade in 2023. Notably Northwood Public School in Windsor, Ont.. saw 600 of 800 students skip out on the first day of Pride month. Ultimately, the pro-life group was informed that parents in seven Canadian provinces and territories kept their kids home from school.

Jack Fonseca, Campaign Life’s director of political operations, told The Catholic Register that his organization found out that the debut national walk-out was such a success as mainstream media reached out to various school boards across the country to investigate how many pupils did stay home. They await to see if these outlets publish statistics in 2024.

Fonseca said it is clear that more and more Canadians are exasperated with LGBT encroachment into elementary and secondary schools.

“It is so in your face all the time,” said Fonseca. “So much has leaked out of classrooms about how sexual and pornographic (teaching content) is at times. People are realizing far and wide that this was never just about respecting other people and making sure we don’t discriminate. It is about sexual indoctrination. This is about grooming children to accept the LGBT lifestyle and reject the religious beliefs of their parents. They’ve had enough.”

Kamel El-Cheikh, the Ottawa-based Muslim father who was a driving force behind last year’s 1 Million March 4 Children, said he and the Hands Off Our Kids group also urged students to stay home in protest of the Pride flag on June 3 as part of a month-long campaign called “My Child June.”

El-Cheikh shared the aims of this endeavour in a May 31 interview

“We are going to be peacefully blunt as we are parents,” said El-Cheikh. “We’re going to boycott the Pride flag and we’re not going to use pronouns. The only flag that should be flying at schools is the Canadian flag. Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and Jews all agree with that. Why should your sexuality be flown at our publicly-funded schools?”

El-Cheikh and his 1 Million March 4 Children and Hands off Our Kids colleagues did not organize any in-person protests on June 3, but are encouraging supporters to join the events hosted by ally groups like Campaign Life. They are devoting logistical resources and efforts to planning a nationwide 1 Million March 4 Children for Friday, Sept. 20. Last year’s event on the same date drew 1.5 million supporters according to El-Cheikh, while critics claimed the rallies across the country attracted “thousands” of activists.

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