The BC Safer Schools Coalition is made of organizations and individuals who believe that all students, staff, and family members have the right to feel safe and welcome at school, regardless of race, class, ability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
We formed in May 2014 in order to mobilize support for the Vancouver School Board’s updates to the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identities Policy. The policy includes many measures to better support trans* students. Read more about this policy here. We were proud to see this policy adopted in Vancouver on Monday June 16, 2014, and will work to see similar polices adopted in school districts across British Columbia.
We believe that:
- People, including students of all ages, have the right to self-determine their gender identity and gender expression
- Gender diversity is a wonderful part of human diversity that is worthy of respect and celebration
- In spite of the existence of policies in some school districts that protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and Two-Spirit students, many schools still remain unsafe and unwelcoming spaces for people with diverse gender identities and expressions (read more about this here).
Therefore, we call for school board policies that:
- Explicitly protect students, staff, and families from harassment based on all forms of oppression, including homophobia and transphobia
- Encourage curriculum, resources, and accommodations that foster dignity and respect across all differences, including sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression
- Require professional development opportunities for educational leaders and school staff to implement policies, deliver curriculum, and support students as outlined above.
We also encourage school boards to establish concrete plans (with goals, timelines, and accountability mechanisms) for ensuring these policies are effectively implemented in schools.
The following organizations and individuals endorse the above beliefs and calls for action:
BC Association of Social Workers
BC Children’s Hospital Transgender Clinical Care Providers
BC Trans Clinical Care Group (BC’s team of specialists in trans* health care, chaired by Dr. Gail Knudson, Medical Director of the Transgender Health Program)
BC Poverty Reduction Coalition
British Columbia Teachers’ Federation
Catherine White Holman Wellness Centre
Centre for the Study of Gender, Social Inequities and Mental Health, Simon Fraser University
Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University
Ending Violence Association of BC
Faculty of Applied Science at UBC
Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University
Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia
First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition
Gender & Sexual Health Initiative, BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
Hammer & Saw: Youth Building Community
Individuals within Other Faculties at the University of British Columbia
Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia
Law Office of barbara findlay QC
OPT: Options for Sexual Health
Safety Nets for Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming Children Research Team, Simon Fraser University
Society for Children and Youth of BC
Stigma and Resilience among Vulnerable Youth Centre
Vancouver Coastal Health C.A.L.L. OUT Initiative
Vancouver Coastal Health PRISM
Vancouver Coastal Health Transgender Health Information Program
Vancouver Coastal Health Transgender Primary Care
Vancouver Secondary Teachers’ Association
Wallace Wong, Psy.D., Registered Psychologist
WAVAW: Women Against Violence Against Women
And we’re growing quickly!
To become a supporter of the coalition, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. This email address was temporarily down. If you contacted it and didn’t hear back, please try again. Thanks!