The Sherbrooke, Quebec school board stopped a series of anti-homophobia workshops after a father complained to the school, other parents and the school board. The school in Sherbrooke has scheduled four workshops with group Prima Danse, “a non-profit organization who uses dance as a means for social intervention and as a way to adopt a healthy lifestyle with different clientele.”
During the second workshop in the series, Prima Danse members showed an image of former Montreal Alouette safety Étienne Boulay and former Montreal Impact player David Testo in a close embrace. The image was part of a photographic exhibition by Olivier Ciappa called Imaginary Couples and was meant to demonstrate acceptance since Boulay is straight and Testo is Gay.
After the workshop, the father of a sixth grader who attended the presentation approached the school to stop all workshops because his child was embarrassed after viewing the image.
Katrina Journeau, director of Prima Danse, told CBC the fahter went to different lengths to get his point across:
The father, that night, called other parents, called the school board, and went in-person in the morning to speak with the teacher in question and tell them in-person everything that was on his mind.
The father also said sixth-graders shouldn’t be hearing about homosexuality.
The anti-homophobia workshops have been provided over 50 times by Prima Danse and this is the first time there has been any opposition to the series.
The Sherbrooke school board has promised to revisit its relationship with Prima Danse in 2018, meanwhile they are looking into the matter more closely.