School Dostrict 10 will soon be one of many districts in the province to implement an LGBTQ policy.
LGBTQ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer.
There are 60 school districts in the province of British Columbia and of that number, 44 have some form of LGBTQ policy.
“There is a push from the British Columbia Teachers Federation (BCTF) for every district to have a policy like this,” said Ric Bardati, a member of the BCTF and the Arrow Lakes Teachers Association (ALTA).
“I have a draft copy, I’ve talked to our board, and I’ve talked to superintendent Terry Taylor, and they’re like ‘We’re on board’.”
The policy would be LGBTQ+ because there are so many different communities within the policy, such as asexual, aromantic, gender fluid, two-spirited, etc.
One aim of the new policy is to create a safe environment free from harassment and discrimination. It also promotes proactive strategies and guidelines to ensure the LGBTQ+ students, employees, family, are welcome and included in all aspects of education and school life, and are treated with respect and dignity.
Bardati said one challenge the district might face is implementing the policy.
“You can write a bunch of words, but what happens on the ground? What happens at the school level? how can you implement a policy like this? It’s like that for any policy. When situations arise, you reference policy as to how to act, or write a letter, or behave.”
Bardati said he isn’t aware of any harassment of LGBTQ students in the district, however he does know it happens in larger areas.
“On the provincial level, there is definitely stuff like this happening,” he said. “That’s why the BCTF is trying to implement these policies.”
If all goes to plan, the school district will have the new policy in place by the end of the school year.