Kat Eddy, pictured here with her family, says the race for school trustee will take some time for the community to recover from, but she now turns her attention to the job ahead.

Eddy reflects on her first Campbell River school trustee campaign

‘I knew that SOGI would be an issue, but I didn’t realize that it would be the only issue’

It was a tight race, with 12 candidates vying for only five spots representing Campbell River on the School District 72 Board of Education, but Kat Eddy came away with one of them, replacing incumbent Ted Foster on the board for the upcoming term.

But it wasn’t a pleasant campaign, she says, and it was one the community will likely need some time to recover from.

“When I came into this campaign, I wanted to build better connections between parents and schools, inspire educators to take risks with technology and use it in their classrooms,” Eddy said as she waited for the results to come in Saturday night. “I wanted to have the Indiginous community step up and say ‘we have some knowledge that we want to share’ and share their history pre-European contact and share that with our students. That’s why I was inspired to run and that’s what I wanted to support, but all I’ve done is fight against the anti-SOGI movement.”

It’s not like she didn’t think SOGI 123 – a set of resources the Ministry of Education has made available to public schools more inclusive, welcoming environments, especially for LGBTQ+ children – wouldn’t be part of the discussion. She knew it was a hot-button issue these days.

“When I threw my hat in the ring, I knew that SOGI would be an issue, but I didn’t realize that it would be the only issue,” Eddy says. “It’s the only thing we’ve been talking about in our community and it’s been really divisive and it’s really been hurting people – especially those in the LGBTQ+ community and their families. It’s terrifying to me. I don’t believe that’s how our community is, but what the anti-SOGI campaign has done is create a platform for people who are ignorant to step up behind their screens to say hateful things. That doesn’t do anything for anybody.

“So now our community needs to heal from this,” she continues. “These families have been beaten on for the last month, and that’s not okay. It disturbs me that this community that I love so much is so divided over something that is a human right.”

As for what she’s hoping for now that she’s got a seat around the table at the school district board room, Eddy says she’s looking forward to promoting the things she wanted to promote during the campaign and moving the district forward in a positive way.

“I had an interesting conversation last night with an 18-year-old girl,” she says. “And she was asking me about SOGI and we were talking about that kind of stuff, and she opened up and told me this really powerful and impactful story about what happened to her during her educational experience. As a trustee, I want to make sure we open those channels of communication. I want us old people to hear what’s actually happening in the schools directly from the youth who are in them. I want to hear from parents. While we’re developing a strategic plan, I want to be able to listen to the needs of the parents and the children of our community so we can address them directly.”

“Kids learn when they feel accepted and when they feel honoured regardless of what flag they fly or what colour they are or what background they come from,” she continues. “They need to feel accepted and not vulnerable in their schools. As much work as we’re doing around anti-bullying and stuff, that’s old people hanging posters on the walls. That’s not actually happening at the core level with the bullies and the kids being bullied. We need to really understand what’s going on and the only way to do that is to listen to kids.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

In a statement, BC RCMP’s media relations officer Cpl.Chris Manseau said that even an amount as small as grain of sand could be fatal. (File photo)
Sayward RCMP alerts residents after highly toxic opioid carfentanil found in community

The opioid’s toxicity levels is 100 times more than that of fentanyl

Kuterra’s smolts will come from Cermaq hatcheries. (Whole Oceans image)
Cermaq to supply salmon smolts to land-based farm Kuterra

Emergent Holdings, which operates Kuterra, and Cermaq signed a four-year agreement

Candice Woloshyn prepares her flower beds for the next season at her ‘Dirty Girl Flowers’ farm in Merville. Despite the pandemic, Woloshyn was able to sustain her homegrown business as community members opted for regular deliveries of fresh cut flowers. Photo by Binny Paul/ Campbell River Mirror.
Vancouver Island flower farmers were blooming as the pandemic wilted everything else

Floriculturists saw increased subscriptions as fresh flowers became a ‘sight for sore eyes’ during isolation

Dispatcher at Campbell River fire dispatch centre during wind storms on Dec. 20, 2018. Photo courtesy Campbell River Fire Department
North Island 9-1-1 celebrates 25 years of serving the community

From mountainous areas to forested landscapes and pristine oceanside communities, North Island… Continue reading

Campbell River's new hospital, July 2018
Nurse diverts opiates and falsifies records at Campbell River Hospital

Nurse facing disciplinary action for moving opiates out of the hospital

Carolyn and Steve Touhey came across a pod of humpback whales while on their boat Sunday, Oct. 25. Photo supplied
VIDEO: Boaters encounter pod of humpbacks in Georgia Strait

Pod spotted between Comox and Texada Island

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

The voting station mimicked a real voting station in Nicole Choi’s classroom at Chilliwack middle school on Oct. 22, 2020, where students had to show their ID (student cards), be checked off a list, and mark a secret ballot behind a screen. (Jessica Peters/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. students choose NDP majority in mock election

More than 90,000 youth took part in school-based election process

Crew transport bus at the Trans Mountain pipeline project work site in Burnaby, March 2020. (Trans Mountain)
Check your workplace COVID-19 safety plans, Dr. Henry urges

Masks in public spaces, distance in lunchrooms for winter

B.C.’s Court of Appeal is in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Judgment reserved in Surrey Six slayings appeals

Six men were killed in suite 1505 of the Balmoral Tower in Whalley on Oct. 19, 2007

Most Read