11/13/2014 01:55 EST | Updated 01/13/2015 05:59 EST

Alberta NDP asks students to share stories on gay-straight alliances

EDMONTON - Alberta's New Democrats are asking students to share their stories about trying to set up gay-straight alliances in schools.

NDP education critic Deron Bilous (DEHR'-uhn BILL'-uhss) says it's important to humanize the obstacles students face when they try to stop bullying.

The party is asking students to text it with their experiences, and promises to keep them anonymous.

The move is intended to raise awareness as the Liberals get set to bring forward a private member's bill requiring school boards to support gay-straight alliances.

The alliances serve as peer-support networks in schools to help gay students who are being bullied or demeaned.

In the spring, the governing Progressive Conservatives and the Opposition Wildrose party defeated a Liberal motion to support the alliances, saying schools already have a mandate to provide a safe learning environment.