Scotties Toy Box

August 14, 2012

‘Gay-straight alliance’ now accepted by Windsor’s Catholic board – Windsor – CBC News

Filed under: News — Scottie @ 21:29

Yes, this sounds grand.  I would love to know more detail and back ground on this if anyone has the time to let me know.  Hugs

‘Gay-straight alliance’ now accepted by Windsor’s Catholic board – Windsor – CBC News.

‘Gay-straight alliance’ now accepted by Windsor’s Catholic board

Province forces schools to allow name

Posted: Aug 14, 2012 2:07 PM ET

Last Updated: Aug 14, 2012 4:34 PM ET

Dallas Mahaney, 16, a Saint Thomas of Villanova Catholic High School student is trying to start a Dallas Mahaney, 16, a Saint Thomas of Villanova Catholic High School student is trying to start a “gay-straight alliance” at his school to help destroy homophobia. (CBC)

Windsor’s Catholic board tried to condemn gay-straight alliances from forming in its schools, but now the province has forced its hand.

The Catholic board reversed its initial decision and must now allow the name if students make the request, which is exactly what one high school student intends to do.

“There’s a lot of homophobia at our school and I think it would benefit our school a lot to have a safe environment for everyone,” said Dallas Mahaney.

The 16-year-old Saint Thomas of Villanova Catholic High School said he’s comfortable with being gay. He hopes the alliance will help destroy homophobia.

“It helps when you have friends and family that support you,” Mahaney said about his sexuality.

“They said it was alright, nothing is going to change and they still love me. They just said to be yourself and love who you are,” he said.

On May 29, CBC News reported the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board will roll out student equality clubs.

They said the title is non-negotiable and students cannot name the groups the “Gay-Straight Alliance.”

The Catholic board found itself backpedalling because of Bill 13, which amended the Education Act with new bullying and discrimination provisions.

“Our position is to be fully compliant with the law. We’re law abiding citizens and it’s important as adults and as leaders in the school system to show that and to follow the mandate based on the Bill 13 guidelines so we will put structures in place,” said Superintendant of Education Mike Seguin.

Sequin said the schools will comply with any request to name a group the “Gay-Straight Alliance.”

“We’re actually planning for that right now for students to make those requests. We still are going to go forward with our social justice equity clubs because we feel that we need to have a place for all people and that they feel comfortable,” said Seguin.

Mahaney said it was important for him to tackle the issue head-on and bring a “Gay-Straight Alliance” to his school.

“I’ve seen a lot of deaths in the (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community and it’s among all the teenagers and I thought if I could save one person’s life, it’s something that I need to do,” said Mahaney.

The Windsor Pride Community Centre is involved by helping students across Windsor-Essex learn about leadership and mentoring to help improve gay-straight alliances with a new Schools Out Program.

“I’ve seen a lot of deaths in the (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community … I thought if I could save one person’s life, it’s something that I need to do.”

—Dallas Mahaney, student

“Perhaps a diversity club isn’t facing the same sort of pressure that a gay-straight alliance will. So we want to make sure that they know how to effectively run events and effectively communicate with each other and the administration to make sure they are always doing the right things,” said Jouvon Evans, Windsor Pride facilitator.

Evans said she was elated when the province forced schools to let students name school groups as the choose.

“Everyone was really pleased. I think just in general everyone thought that it was something that many people felt was necessary, but it now reinforced it in law,” said Evans.

She said students have been productive and enthusiastic about having a “gay-straight alliance” in their schools.

Mahney is one of those students, who said these groups can only help everyone.

“A lot of facts state that a gay-straight alliance will only benefit a school. It won’t make it worse because it promotes the LGBT, it gives education, history, stops harassment and its reported more incidents that take place,” said Mahaney.

Mahaney said he hopes the gay-straight alliance he’s trying to bring to his high school will be a success.

But said it probably won’t be a seamless transition.

“I think we need a big turnout and the school being OK with it and allowing it, encouraging it and promoting it,” said Mahaney
.

1 Comment »

  1. This is a story that has been going on for a while with lots of twists and turns. You may recall I wrote a post about the Catholic school boards and their unwillingness to have GSA’s last year. I pointed out how it seems the government was allowing these schools to skirt provincial law in the name of religion. Well, since then things have changed. First, the government tightened the rules even further to make sure that equality and anti-bullying measures are at the forefront of all schools. They also made it clear that the Catholic schools were not exempt from these new rules. Initially, the government did not require them to use the name “gay straight alliance” or similar names. But when it became clear the schools were using this leeway to continue to deny the clubs, that concession was removed and we are left with the situation in the article. At least this board has finally decided to accept reality and join the current century. Some other boards in Ontario are still whining and complaining, but the public here is squarely against them, and this has actually revived talk of scrapping their public status. It won’t happen, but the public dissatisfaction is putting more pressure on them.

    Hugs,
    Evan

    Hello Even. I do remember you posting on it, I had trouble understanding the set up and you walked me through it. I am glad for once to see a government standing behind non discrimination and people seeing through the disguise of bigotry. Many hugs

    Comment by Evan — August 17, 2012 @ 00:18


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