They change school culture and save lives (plus they’re fun).
It's incredibly important that we create visibly queer spaces, because as queer and trans people, we are made to feel invisible every day.
The presence, or lack of, inclusivity in education affects students' social and physical health.
Bill 24 would ensure no child in a GSA gets outed to their parents.
It takes an incredible amount of courage and leadership to actually go to the principal at an outwardly Christian school and ask to start a GSA. To those students, you have my admiration and my respect. Students all over Alberta need to know that it can happen at their school, too.
When the right of a tax-funded separate Catholic school system was put into the constitution back in 1867, it was a way of protecting the religious, cultural and language rights of the minority French (who were predominantly Catholic) from the majority English (who were predominantly Protestant) at a time when all schooling was church-run. We now live in a multicultural country based on equality and yet somehow in three provinces it's still considered kosher that one religious group gets tax-funded schooling but not Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhist, Hindus, etc. It's the dictionary definition of privilege.
Quinn Maloney-Tavares and Polly Hamilton are 11, and hoping to start Canada's first Catholic elementary school Gay-Straight Alliance club.
If the "Lake of Fire" fiasco that cost the Wildrose the last election is any indication, Albertans overwhelmingly vote against a party that smells of promoting homophobia, so there is no need to seek a "safe middle ground" on this wedge issue. In fact, the "middle ground" is not so politically safe for right wing parties. In two years, it will be far less safe. So why is Prentice talking tough but actually equivocating on an issue for which he clearly has overwhelming public support?
Schools have traditionally emphasized conformity as a way to encourage fitting in. Those who do not conform can find themselves facing discipline for infractions that, in other circumstances, would draw little if any attention. How well can rules to create conformity work for a transgendered teenager? Not well at all.
Keeping all children safe and happy is our first priority. Let's teach the kids in public school to always show great love and respect to all people, no matter race, creed, colour or sexual orientation.