June is Pride Month, and Bluewater District School Board is once again showing its rainbow colours! Schools and board facilities are demonstrating their ongoing commitment to equity, inclusivity, and acceptance in our learning and working environments by raising or displaying the rainbow flag.
The rainbow flag is a representation of acceptance and celebration of those individuals who identify as Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgendered-Queer (LGBTQ). It also symbolizes the “right to exist” as members of our communities without discrimination.
There are currently a number of Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs in Bluewater District School Board secondary and elementary schools. During the school year, GSA clubs support and coordinate a variety of LGBTQ and anti-bullying initiatives.
Here are some examples of this year’s Pride Month activities in Bluewater:
In addition to the raising of the flag, Owen Sound District Secondary School celebrated Pride Month with a colourful Pride cake!
Beavercrest Community School in Markdale is supporting Pride Month and its commitment to equity and inclusive education in a safe and accepting environment. A fundraiser was coordinated by the Beavercrest GSA in support of Egale Canada Human Rights Trust: Youth and Safer Schools Program. The money raised will help to fight against homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in schools across Canada. The GSA members and volunteers worked together to make over 25 calming jars and 80 slimes to sell to Beavercrest students. The club was happy that their fundraiser brought in over $150 for the cause! The Beavercrest GSA raises awareness about inclusivity, and encourages others to embrace diversity within the school community throughout the year.
After weeks of waiting for dry, sunny weather, the secondary students at Peninsula Shores District School gave the crosswalks another coat of vibrant colour. This project, supported by a SpeakUp grant awarded to the GSA, has allowed the school to refresh the colours on its crosswalks. Thanks are extended to all the students who volunteered to help with this project at a busy time of year!
Georgian Bay Community School, Hillcrest Elementary School, Owen Sound District Secondary School, and East Ridge Community School showed their pride and rainbow colours on Saturday, June 8 by participating in the 2nd Owen Sound Pride Parade. Local representatives of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) were also on hand to wave their rainbow themed flags during the festive procession. Once again, the parade was made possible thanks to the leadership of Owen Sound District Secondary School student and Bluewater District School Board Student Trustee Ryan Brown.