Anti-homophobia education beyond bullying
Blog: FEDCAN Blog
Blogger: Hélène Frohard-Dourlent, Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at The University of British Columbia in Vancouver
By focusing on individual displays of ‘homophobia’, we let bullies become an excuse not to look at our own schools and at our own practices, and not to question how we, as educators, administrators, parents, and scholars, may have helped to create an environment where these acts of bullying become intelligible. And while this focus has often rallied people around gay youth, the issues faced by trans youth are often forgotten, marginalized, or conflated with ‘homophobia’.
Read more at:
When even silence offends: Part 1
Blogger: Mercedes Allen, Advocate for transsexual and transgender communities in Alberta
Throughout last year and into 2012, anti-bullying education has been a flashpoint on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border. When the Burnaby School District passed an anti-bullying policy, it didn’t include language affirming LGBTTIQ students, though it did include requirements to support them when needed. This infuriated some parents, who formed a group called Parents Voice, which encouraged parents to pull their kids from classes or schools that might imply that it’s okay to be gay or trans. Parents Voice ran a slate of candidates in the school board elections, and placed last in nearly every one, but it hasn’t stopped visible activism, which is now focused on attacking Premier Christy Clark.
Catholic Schools Unveil Their Tax-Paid GSA Replacements
Blog: Slap Upside the Head
Blogger: Mark, 30-something-year-old from Montreal
The Ontario Ministry of Education has long recommended that all schools offer student-run Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs). GSAs intend to improve the lives of GLBT students, giving them positive role models, and offering a safe respite from bullying. Their benefits are also well documented; schools with GSAs have a demonstrably lower incidence of teen suicide. The tax-funded Catholic school boards are certainly no exception to this recommendation, but they’ve been a strangely dedicated source of resistance. In fact, not a single Catholic school in Ontario has a GSA—and students that have tried to form one have either had it shut down, or hijacked and transformed into a different kind of club altogether. It’s this latter strategy that’s becoming the norm.