Dear Editor:

Despite having moved to the distant city of Victoria, I still care about the little town I grew up in. David Thompson Secondary School is the place where my love of writing was discovered and developed. It was an environment of safe experimentation that allowed me to grow as a writer. With the confidence I gained from my teachers and classmates, I have been pursuing a writing degree with a minor in journalism. Lamentably, my experience is not standard.

I think everybody can conjure up a moment where they felt like living trash. Perhaps ethnicity or religious background was the source of ridicule? Maybe a family issue, or some uncool clothing caused the problem. Remember the scorching feeling in your face? Arms filled with agony, slumped shoulders, a body aching with pain? Was there anger, was there fear? Was silence the most sonorous scream you could muster?

Why, in a society that is perpetually advancing in one way or another, do generally altruistic and decorous people act exceedingly in an inhuman way toward one another? The toxic forces of judgement and hatred have trickled into our society. I write today about the variety known as homophobia.

Can you imagine an educational setting where students recognized love in all its unique forms, just as we recognize the inherent beauty in different skin colours? Imagine how marvellous it would be if every single child and teen could succeed academically/personally in a secure, non-threatening environment. Sexual and gender identity are the only categories that do not have specific policies and programs in place. Our tax-funded educational system should be all-inclusive.

On October 20th, 2011 a lobby group will deliver thousands of letters, encased in purple envelopes to the Premier Christy Clark. These letters, written by people like me, explain why there needs to be a policy change in our education system. The website for this group is It contains mailing information, stories and letters written by various public figures. I implore everybody to write a letter for this campaign, as well as emailing our MLA and Minister of Education. We have already seen hundreds of catastrophic teen suicides as a direct result of bullying.

Which local teen will be forced to take their life before we wake up and take action?

Karlie Banville

Victoria, B.C.