submitted by UCDSB
June is widely known as Pride Month and schools within the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) will take part in activities throughout the month to celebrate and show support of our two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual (2SLGBTQIA) students, staff members, and their families.
“Pride Month is another opportunity to have discussions around what it means to be inclusive and accepting within our schools. Our goal is to have every student be able to say, yes, I feel safe, accepted, and included at school,” says Dan McRae, Principal of Equity and Inclusion within the UCDSB. “In order for that to happen though, students need to feel like they are being heard and they see themselves in the day-to-day culture and life at the school all year long.”
During the month of June, schools will emphasize support for members of our 2SLGBTQIA community through planned activities and age-appropriate classroom discussions.
Here are just a few of the events and activities that are planned or completed:
- on June 1, all students across the school district were invited to wear rainbow colours to school to show their support for the 2SLGBTQIA community. This was an initiative that started with The Queen Elizabeth School in Perth and grew to an open invitation to all UCDSB students and staff;
- students in the Grade 12 Social Justice course at Almonte District High School are working with the Mississippi Mills Library to celebrate Pride Month by making video book reviews of 2SLGBTQIA-themed books to create an “Almonte’s Pick” section at the community library;
- the UCDSB Student Equity and Inclusion Committee will be hosting a virtual event for all secondary and intermediate student voice groups where students will hear directly from Queer Connection Lanark, NG Pride, Gananoque Pride Alliance, Cornwall Police Services and Russell Township; and
- the UCDSB has formed a list of Rainbow Reads for educators to share in the classroom, with books such as A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, I Love My Purse, and Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress for elementary students, and Dress Codes for Small Towns, We’ve Always Been Here and Zara Hossain is Here for secondary students.
“Public education is for all students, and we truly want all of our students and their families to feel supported and accepted. Equity and inclusion, acceptance and support are not just buzzwords for us. We have made significant strides in creating safe and accepting learning environments over the last few years. We know that we have work to do, and we are committed to doing it,” says John McAllister, Chair of the Board.