Echoing calls by the BC Humanist Association last week, Education Minister Mike Bernier announced yesterday that all public and independent schools in BC will have to make explicit references to sexual orientation and gender identity in their anti-bullying policies.
Districts have been given until the end of the year to update their policies and the ARC Foundation has committed to funding a new advisor position to support more inclusive policies at all schools.
Ian Bushfield, Executive Director, BC Humanist Association:
This announcement is good news for LGBTQ students but the proof will be in the pudding. It will be critical to see these words translated into real protections. We've already seen policies that claim to oppose bullying transgender students while simultaneously denying their identity.
Questions also remain about whether these new requirements will include upholding LGBTQ students' association rights to create gay straight alliances in their schools or to otherwise celebrate their identity. We'll continue to press the government to recognize the dignity of every student in schools across the province.
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