Parents protest students' Lady Gaga video

A civic party that formed in opposition to the school board's gay-friendly policy is trying to stop an anti-bullying initiative that involves kids dancing to Lady Gaga for a YouTube video.

Burnaby Parents' Voice, which ran five trustee candidates in the last civic election, is calling on Premier Christy Clark and Education Minister George Abbott to stop teachers from posting a video of students from several Lower Mainland schools, including Confederation Park Elementary, dancing to Lady Gaga's Born This Way. The video, dubbed Project Pink 2012, is an anti-bullying initiative that promotes acceptance and coincides with Pink Shirt Day on Feb. 29.

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The video was originally scheduled for posting on YouTube on Wednesday, but it went up on Tuesday. (Go to sd41.bc.ca to watch.)

Burnaby Parents' Voice wrote to Clark and Abbott questioning the "legality and the educational purpose of posting students' images on the Internet, as well as the appropriateness of Lady Gaga as a learning resource in public schools," according to a media statement from the party.

Burnaby Parents' Voice also asserted that Project Pink 2012 "undermines curriculum goals as well as parents' and societal goals."

"Will this project reduce bullying? Not likely," said Gordon World, Burnaby Parents' Voice member. "They claim this sends a positive social message of acceptance of self and others. Not for overweight kids, anorexic kids or those who don't dance well. Not those who resist their school's promotion of Lady Gaga's 'sex sells' world view."

Burnaby Parents' Voice is concerned that the project violates the B.C. School Act requirements that the "highest morality" be taught in schools and that schools be secular and not endorse any one world view.

The group also raised concerns about content in Gaga's Born This Way video of "simulated group sex and masturbation, semi-nudity, a birth scene and many crotch shots."

"The lyrics contain numerous slogans declaring Lady Gaga's world view, which are offensive to most religions as well as atheism," they state.

Bonnie Ishii, a Confederation Park teacher who taught the kids the flashmob style dance, was not available for immediate comment.

To see a photo gallery of the Confederation Park students dancing, go to www.burnabynow.com.

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