OISLogoFullColourEarlier today, Education Minister Mike Bernier announced that explicit references to sexual orientation and gender identity are being added to the anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies that school districts and independent schools are required to have in place.

Having worked with youth, educators, administrators, and parents all over BC, we know the challenges and complexities involved in responding to the needs of LGBT2Q+ youth. Studies have found that school policies that include specific measures on homophobia and transphobia are more effective in improving the school climate for LGBT2Q+ students than generic safer school policies. These policies must ensure that LGBT2Q+ students feel both protected and included.

Additionally, effective policy must come with an implementation plan. Studies have shown that educators find that the top barrier preventing them from addressing LGBT2Q+ issues in their classrooms is lack of training and/or resources. Over the past 12 years, we have been conducting workshops and presentations on LGBT2Q+ issues in BC schools and with BC educators to meet this need.

We look forward to continuing our work in light of these encouraging developments, to learning more about the Ministry of Education’s plan, and to see how we can best be of service to the youth of British Columbia.

Out in Schools is pleased to see that progress for LGBT2Q+ youth is happening. Today has been a long time coming and we applaud the advocates and groups involved in making today a reality.

 

Watch this morning’s announcement.