Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
What on earth was this guy thinking?
I still can’t believe the guy phoned me.
What on earth was he thinking?
I was working at my desk late Friday afternoon, when the phone rang. Guy gave his name, it sounded familiar, I said hi, then he launched straight into telling me the name of the store at which he works, told me he doesn’t want to see the name of that store appear in the paper, but he wants to talk to me about doing a story on the province’s announcement about Boxing Day shopping hours.
And suddenly I realized who he was, and I was back in early 1999, during the anti-homophobia education plan debate at Winnipeg School Division.
And the venom that was unleashed, some from some members of the religious right, some from people who had their kids enrolled in private schools in other parts of the city, some from alleged scientific experts on homosexuality.
And every weekday, for five or six hours, there was a radio station whose two call-in hosts attacked WSD throughout those three months in 1999.
They went after me, though I was a bit player, and what they hurled at me was nothing compared to what some teachers, and some school trustees, and some parents and some very courageous students suffered.
In the end, WSD approved anti-homophobia education for its staff and for its 34,000 students.
When I realized who this guy was, I told him I hadn’t forgotten what happened in 1999, that I had no intention of ever talking to him, and hung up, and went back to work.
More Telling Tales Out of School
More Telling Tales Out of School
(1 of 7 articles for this month)1:41 PM 0
The Selinger government has made a very clear and conscious decision to put money back into the pockets of homeowners ...
About Nick Martin
Nick Martin is the old bearded guy at the back of the newsroom, the most experienced reporter at the Winnipeg Free Press, having started his career in Ontario in 1971.
He’s been covering education for the Free Press since the spring of 1997, after decades primarily covering municipal politics, including a four-year stint at the Ontario legislature for the London Free Press.
Nick moved to Manitoba in 1988 with his Winnipeg-born wife, who is a professor at the University of Manitoba. They have two kids, both of whom graduated from Grant Park High School: son Chris and daughter Gillian.
Nick has won a national journalism award from the Canadian Association of University Teachers, two Manitoba Human Rights Journalism awards, and the Ontario Reporters Association investigative award.
Nick is a long-distance runner, having finished and survived 18 marathons and 15 half-marathons and 30-kilometre races, and having (barely) survived 10 years as an outdoor and indoor soccer coach.
Nick became a soccer referee in 2007, delighting in his 60s in outrunning 16-year-olds and keeping his distance from obstreperous coaches and parents.
Nick and his wife have discovered a mutual love for kayaking at their Whiteshell cottage, and are both regulars at the Reh-Fit Centre. They hold season tickets to both the Manitoba Theatre Centre and the Warehouse, and as empty nesters, have rediscovered the joys of an active winter vacation.
A native of Jarrow-on-Tyne, England, Nick is a member of the Toon Army as a Newcastle United supporter, and a proud citizen of Leafs Nation.
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