The “First National Climate Survey on Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia in Canadian Schools” (2011) surveyed over 3700 students across the country.
The study found that:
- 79% of transgender students see parts of their school as being unsafe for LGBTQ students (the spaces most often seen as unsafe being washrooms, changerooms and corridors).
- 60% of transgender students have had mean rumours spread about their sexual orientation at school.
- 63% of transgender students have been verbally harassed about their sexual orientation.
- 74% of transgender students have been verbally harassed about their gender expression.
- 37% of transgender students have been physically harassed about their gender expression.
These findings clearly demonstrate that the climate in many Canadian schools is unsafe for transgender students.
Teachers and other school staff generally want to support transgender students, but are unsure of how to do so. Simply adding “transgender” to the list of identities protected under anti-homophobia policies (as the current VSB policy does) offers no clarification.
The VSB’s proposed Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity policy provides specific guidance to teachers. This guidance is in line with best practises put forward by leading experts, including:
- Canadian Teachers’ Federation (for details, click here) and
- Public Health Agency of Canada (for more info, click here).