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FMPSD addresses misinformation with local school

Last Updated Feb 8, 2023 at 7:08 am MST

Image supplied by the Fort McMurray Public School Division/FMPSD.

The Fort McMurray Public School Division (FMPSD) has issued a statement regarding allegations involving resource material at Dr. Clark School.

Recent posts on social media alleged the school’s library contained a book with graphic imagery.

In that statement issued on Feb. 7, 2023, the FMPSD called the posts inaccurate and defamatory.

“Over the last week, there have been inaccurate and misinformed social media posts about resources and teaching practices in Dr. Clark School. The social media posts allege that a book which contains graphic images is located within Dr. Clark School library.”

The FMPSD said Dr. Clark is an inclusive environment that promotes safe and caring spaces.

“As a result of these inaccurate and misinformed social media posts, staff have been the target of harassment from individuals believing these lies through phone calls, spreading personal information and various other false claims online. We are aware of the situation and are working closely with the proper authorities to ensure the safety and security of our students and staff.”

None of the division’s 15 schools have ever owned the book.

The subject of sexual health lessons was also mentioned by the FMPSD, which seeks guidance from the Alberta Education curriculum, the Education Act, and School Authority Board policy.

“Sexual health lessons are not taught in the ways described by a misinformed video on social media. Grades 4-6 are taught sexual health components as part of the Alberta Education curriculum.”

The FMPSD added teachers may also use an additional resource called PRISM.

Published by the Alberta Teachers Association and authorized by Alberta Education, PRISM helps teachers have inclusion discussions in the classroom.

“It is not a curriculum guide and there is one copy in each school which is meant to be additional support for inclusion; it is not a sexual health lesson plan book. The PRISM resource is neither shared with students nor available for students in any of our schools.”

No further comments on this matter will be made by the FMPSD.

MyMcMurray has contacted Wood Buffalo RCMP on the status of the investigation into the online posts.