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Move To Make Canadian Schools Safe For Gay Kids


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Move To Make Canadian Schools Safe For Gay Kids

by Jan Prout 365Gay.com Toronto Bureau

Posted: August 12, 2005 1:00 pm ET

(Toronto, Ontario) To mark today's International Youth Day, Canadian LGBT rights group Egale is launching a national safe schools initiative.

The organization is circulation petitions across the country calling on provincial governments to outlaw homophobia in the nation's schools.

The U.N. International Youth Day focuses on the World Program of Action for Youth to increase the "opportunities available to young people for full, effective and constructive participation in society."

Education and human rights are two of the key focus areas of the UN program.

"Schools should be safe for all children, regardless of personal characteristics like race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity," said Laurie Arron, Egale's Director of Advocacy.

"While it is generally agreed all children deserve protection, all too often lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-identified youth, as well as children of same-sex couples, are left out in the cold. That's why provincial and territorial governments must take action to explicitly provide for their protection."

The petitions ask ministers of education to take concrete action to provide a safe, caring and inclusive school environment for all students, staff, and families.

"Schools are one of the best ways to reach youth, as well as adults," stated Joan Beecroft, an Ontario teacher and co-chair of Egale's Education Committee.

"While there are encouraging steps being taken by some school boards, much more needs to be done and by a greater number of boards," she said.

©365Gay.com 2005


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