VSB welcomes provincial announcement to make schools safer for LGBQTT+ youth

Board & Committees, Community, Media Release, Schools & Students
September 9, 2016

The Vancouver School Board welcomes the recent Ministry of Education announcement to make schools safer for LGBQTT+ youth in all BC  schools.

The provincial announcement to ensure all school boards in the province include sexual orientation and gender identity provisions in anti-bullying policies builds on policies the VSB has had in place for more than 12 years.

The VSB's non-discrimination policy was adopted in 2004 with a specific policy and regulations regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.

"VSB trustees are proud our district developed the forward-looking policy and regulations with the involvement of our students, parents, stakeholders, and community more than 12 years ago —and we continue to actively promote respect, safety, and acceptance of LGBQTT+ students and others in our schools," said VSB Chairperson Mike Lombardi.

Following extensive consultation with students, stakeholders, health professionals and the community, the policy was revised in 2014 to add clarity, update language and provide guidance to school staff on how to help Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Trans*, Two-Spirit (LGBQTT+) students feel safe and comfortable in their schools.

"The latest VSB policy revision was developed over two years through the VSB PRIDE Advisory Committee, which has representatives from employee groups, the LGBQTT+ community, the Vancouver District Student Council and the District Parent Advisory Council. The Vancouver District Student Council also took a leadership role in advocating for provincial policy” says VSB Chair Mike Lombardi. 

The VSB is committed to ensuring all students, family members and staff are feel safe and welcome in Vancouver schools. 
"The goal of the policy is to make students feel safe and included at school, so they can focus on being successful in their school work. We want every student to thrive and school and participate in all aspects of school life,” adds Lombardi. 

Research shows that schools with Gay/Straight Alliances and policies for students with diverse sexual and gender identities provide safer environments for all students.

VSB Policy and Regulations:
https://www.vsb.bc.ca/district-policy/acb-r-1-sexual-orientation-and-gender-identities

For more information contact:

Mike Lombardi
Chairperson
Vancouver Board of Education
Email: mike.lombardi@vsb.bc.ca
Ph: 604.306.6948
Twitter:@Lombardimike
Facebook: http://ow.ly/1HZeFv