Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans-gendered and Queer Youth Matter in Langley

February 29, 2012

Breaking News, Community

On Tuesday February 21, 2012 at a Langley School Board meeting, the board members were approached with an idea to create a policy protecting LGBTQ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans-gendered and Queer) youth.

To advocate for this policy, three community members spoke: Reverend Ron Lindsay; school psychologist intern, Sandra Gregory; and Langley Teachers’ Association representative, Gail Chadick-Costello.

Each school puts in place policies protecting students for their right to a safe and healthy learning environment. However, up until now the protection of LGBTQ youth has never been fortified in School District #35. The advocators’ message was clear:  this has to change.

Reverend Ron Lindsay was passionate as he rose to the podium; he spoke with reverence and clarity when he expressed the rights of dignity and respect for all people. He urged the board to help unify the safety of all students, no matter their orientation. He left them with a zealous phrase urging them to take a stand for LGBTQ youth.

“Rise up, be bold, be strong”

Sandra Gregory shared graphs and statistics to highlight the importance of LGBTQ safety policies (See graph below). She utilized a graph to highlight the percentages of LGBTQ youth involved in all types of bullying, a problem that school boards all over the world attempt to rectify.

Gail Chadick-Costello worked with statistics to point out the importance of these policies, but pushed the solution a step further. She highlighted that Gay/Straight Alliances are an effective way to create true understanding of sexual orientation and gender stereotypes within schools, as well as remove any prejudice that seems to be encumbering our LGBTQ youth.

“[Gay/Straight Alliances] are a no cost attitude change that can actually save lives,” she stated.

Chadick-Costello challenged the board to push the change in policy; she told them that she’d be back in April to remind them of the policy and hopes to have a rough draft by May.

by Lucy Clarkson

Photos by Raven Loucks

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