Letter in support of Bill-13 (the Accepting School Act)
In November of last year, Minister of Education, Laurel Broten, courageously introduced Bill-13: An Act to amend the Education Act with respect to bullying and other matters.
Know as the Accepting Schools Act, this legislation if passed would do a number of things, including:
- work to prevent gender-based violence and incidents based on homophobia & transphobia,
- provide better support for students who are impacted by inappropriate behaviors and require schools to provide a safe learning environment,
- and support student led initiatives to stop all forms of bullying, discrimination, homophobia & transphobia.
For us at Jer’s Vision, the Accepting Schools Act offers real change, and supports youth initiatives in ways that we have never seen before. Almost every day, youth volunteers at Jer’s Vision engage with their peers to run initiatives to make schools and communities safer. These include projects with Gay Straight Alliances, Rainbow Alliances and Diversity Clubs; and these youth-run, school based clubs need your support.
Despite the fact that the Accepting Schools Act will make a major impact at stopping bullying, there have been very aggressive homophobic & transphobic responses by a variety of persons who do not want to support LGBTQ specific initiatives in our schools.
“This isn’t fair, youth-run LGBTQ intiatives are necessary in our schools”, said Cameron Aitken, the president of the Superior Height GSA in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. “We need to talk about LGBTQ specific issues in schools so that we can address them. In the same way we have clubs that stop racism and sexism, we need to be able to do the same as LGBTQ people—its 2012 after all!”
I would like to ask you to please support LGBTQ & straight youth in Ontario who experience homophobic & transphobic bullying on a daily basis, by printing and signing the attached letter of support. Please return it to Jer's Vision by Feb 28, 2012 at 440 Albert St, Suite C304, Ottawa, ON K1R 5B5.
We also encourage you to forward the letter to your family, friends, and colleagues.