Provide Gay- Straight Alliances in Schools
This petition had 385 supporters
Debbie Engel, the chair of the Edmonton Catholic School Board, claims that Catholic schools have zero tolerence concerning homophobia. However, they will not support Gay- Straight Alliance clubs in schools because “we truly truly believe that we don’t want to have any club that excludes anyone else. We forbid any kind of club that doesn’t include all.” However, most students are either gay or straight, meaning most students would be able to join these clubs. GSAs encourage respect and promote understanding.
“We just don’t see the need to have them. Then do we have a club for fat kids and skinny kids? For smarty kids?,” Ms. Engel says. However, unlike discrimination against "smarty kids," discrimination against LGBT youth leads to relatively and terrifyingly high bullying and suicide rates.
In 2011, Egale Canada released the following statistics:
- 70% of all students hear derogatory comments such as “that's so gay” every day in school.
- 37% of youth with LGBTQ parents are verbally harassed about the sexual orientation of their parents.
- 53% of LGBTQ youth felt unsafe at school, compared with only 3% of heterosexual youth.
As a 16 year old student in the Edmonton Catholic School District, I am upset at the stance the school board is taking on this issue. Jesus has said, "Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." I believe that GSAs are one of the best ways to act on this teaching.
By signing this petition, you are requesting the Edmonton Catholic School Board to support GSA clubs in Catholic schools, and asking that GSA clubs are held on school property.
Update: I am notifying Albertan MLAs of this petition so that they can see that Catholic students and the people that they represent want the right to have these clubs in schools.
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Lauren White needs your help with “Personal: Provide Gay- Straight Alliances in Schools”. Join Lauren and 384 supporters today.