Staff, Barrie Examiner
Staff and students at Innisdale Secondary School and Allandale Heights Public School in Barrie will be taking to the streets Wednesday in an anti-bullying rally to celebrate International Day of Pink.
Students and staff participating in the rally will be dressed in pink and walking with anti-bullying signs as a gesture to express their support for inclusivity and diversity in schools.
Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario is encouraging teachers, educators, and school boards to take more action on stopping homophobic and transphobic bullying.
“More than ever before, there are supports in place to help ensure that every student has a safe place to learn,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond.
“Ontario’s The Accepting Schools Act that came into effect last September sets out requirements for boards to create a safe environment that is free from homophobia and transphobia,” Hammond added.
“By implementing those processes, teachers can better carry out their responsibilities to prevent bullying,” he said. “Teachers see homophobic bullying played out on a daily basis in elementary schools.”
Along with updated board policies, Hammond said there are now many more school board-created resources to assist teachers in addressing these issues in age-appropriate ways.
The International Day of Pink was begun after a Nova Scotia incident in 2007, when two students saw a younger male student being bullied for wearing a pink shirt.
The two students intervened, but wanted to do more to prevent homophobic and transphobic bullying.
They purchased pink shirts and had students come to school wearing pink to stand in solidarity with the bullied student.
Their message was clear: “Anyone can bully, anyone can be victimized by bullying, but together we can work to stop it”.
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