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Ontario Students Stage Walkout Protest on ‘Pride’ Agenda, Mixed-Sex Washrooms

In an email circulating on Twitter, LDHSS Principal Jennifer Borrell-Benoit did not acknowledge concerns of protestors or the advocacy group Students for Change. Instead, she told parents that "additional supports" were made available to students identifying with the pride community.
Neil Campbell
Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: June 16, 2023
Ontario high school students staged a walkout in opposition to the pushing of pride culture.
A file photo of a girl wearing the Canadian flag during the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship in January in Nova Scotia, Canada. Ontario high school students staged a walkout protest against the pushing of “pride” ideology and school policy that allows mixed bathroom usage based on gender identity. (Image: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Students of an Ontario high school organized and staged a walkout protest on June 15 against biological sex-mixing in washroom spaces and the teaching of “Pride” content.

Ottawa-area Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School was the venue for the protest, organized on Instagram by a student group calling itself LDHSS Students for Change.

Its Insta posts made it clear to participants and observers that “this is a peaceful protest,” and asked for no vandalism or hate speech.

“We do not stand for hate of any groups,” the group stated, adding in a second post, “We are a group focused only on love, not hate.”

“We do not hate transgender people. We do not hate gay people…We just want to protect our religions. To protect our younger siblings. And most importantly, our personal beliefs and right to believe what we want,” the SOC continued.


Photographs of the event by indie journalism outlet Rebel News showed several dozen students at the protest where no flags were waved and only a few signs with slogans such as, “Let boys be boys and girls be girls.”

The tone and messaging of the event stands in sharp contrast to a large-scale clash between area families opposed to the education system making pride and gender narratives mainstream policy and supporters of pride culture on June 8 at another high school also within the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board’s jurisdiction.

Postmedia conglomerate node Ottawa Citizen reported on the event with heavy one-sided coverage in favor of the pride culture side of the event.

Photographs taken by the outlet’s employees featured pro-pride attendees  carrying signage with aggressive slogans, such as:

  • “Buzz off bigots” 
  • A transgender flag spray painted with the words “transphobic fascists [expletive] off”
  • The rainbow LGBT flag with the slogan, “We are all born naked. The rest is DRAG.”

The portion of the protest opposed to pride being taught in school was heavily composed of Muslim families, some independent journalists pointed out. 

The Students for Change protest went notably completely unreported by Canada’s state-funded establishment media outlets.

Chanel Pfahl, a former high school teacher turned activist, visited the protest and posted a 24-minute clip interviewing the student attendees.

Many of the students she spoke with, both male and female, were concerned about school policy that allows biological males to enter the female washroom if they identify as a girl.

At least one other student, a male, was concerned about biological women entering the male washroom if they identify as a boy as well.

One student, a male, told Pfahl, “I was scared to come here” because “I don’t want to be seen as homophobic. I don’t want to be seen as someone who’s super against LGBT philosophy.”

Other students, who appeared to be Muslim, said, “We’re just here to defend our religion, because they’re pushing their beliefs onto us.”

The Epoch Times also covered the event, interviewing one student, Ali Elwayd, as stating he is concerned about the promotion of pride culture and its effects on younger classmates.

“They’re kids and they don’t have their own ideas yet. And childhood is like the wax to your adulthood. Whatever builds up on it comes with you. You might have grown up with something, like your traditions and beliefs, and you still have it now,” he stated.

Elwayd also told the outlet that his younger siblings have been disciplined by school authorities for pushing against the ideology on the basis that it opposes what they have been taught by their parents.

At least one parent, Tim Dunn, also attended the walkout, but as a counter protester. 

Dunn told ET, “[I see this as] hatred towards the kids that are part of this community” and framed the walkout as something that makes students “feel unsafe.”

On Twitter, a screenshot of an email appearing to have been sent by LDHSS Principal Jennifer Borrell-Benoit is circulating, where she told parents, “There were no incidents which required the intervention of police,” who were also in attendance at the walkout.

In the email, Borrell-Benoit acknowledges neither the SOC nor the students’ concerns. Instead, she states that during the event “additional supports were available to assist students” who align under the pride culture banner.

“We firmly believe that all publicly funded schools must be safe spaces for all children, regardless of race, heritage, faith, sexuality, and gender,” the Principal added before signing off as the “Proud Principal of LDH.”

In a secondary Instagram post, the SOC stated it was also concerned about “gay priests being brought to speak to children” and blasted teachers who blame Muslims “for not attending school during pride month.”

Although it’s unclear if an LDHSS teacher committed such conduct, there was an instance reported widely in Canadian media on June 7 after a teacher at Londonderry School in Edmonton was recorded criticizing Muslim students who did not attend pride events.

“But meanwhile all of those kids who are involved… they’re here when we did Ramadan… and they’re showing respect to the class for your religion, right. For your beliefs. It goes two ways,” the recording states, according to City News. 

They continued, “If you want to be respected for who you are, if you don’t want to suffer prejudice for your religion, your colour of skin, your whatever, then you better give it back to people who are different than you. That’s how it works. It’s an exchange.”

The SOC’s original organizational Instagram post was quickly brigaded by a number of pro-pride accounts.

One account, appearing to be a heavy set white woman, declared, “The whole premise of this walkout is based on hate and the unwillingness to accept others so the whole ‘we don’t stand for hate’ is a load of bs.”

“And your religious freedoms aren’t affected by allowing lgbtq+ youth to be themselves. What an absolute disgrace,” they added.