Local schools are bringing more opportunities to learn about diversity and acceptance to youth. The Don Ross Middle School Equality Club and Howe Sound Secondary School Diversity Club each support LGBTQ2S+ students.
Don Ross Middle School student James Fujimagari is one of the Equality Club leaders. “Everyone is a person, everyone deserves to be treated as a person,” says Fujimagari. “We should all be given equal opportunities regardless of our views or backgrounds. I do not think that there are any situations where that should be ignored.”
The Sea to Sky School district has a revised education plan that aims to support and encourage diversity in Sea to Sky Schools.
“There’s always a bit of a challenge when promoting diversity,” said Phillip Clarke, the director of instruction: learning services at Sea to Sky School District 48 (SD48).
“We will always support the LGBTQ2S+ community and also all of our diversity. I think our work is always focused on promoting diversity when it comes to how schools will approach students and giving students choice in classrooms. The creation of the revised education plan is one of the most important things that we can do as a district.”
Kristin Trotter, a registered clinical counsellor who works closely with youth, said there are still challenges for young people who identify as LGBTQ2S+.
“One of the main challenges that I see youth facing around diversity and acceptance is the tendency to be misunderstood and negatively judged,” said Trotter. “People can make critical statements or behave unfairly towards those who identify within the LGBTQ2S+ spectrum, or who represent other diverse identities. I would love to see continued support for equality and diversity type groups/clubs. Ensuring that these spaces exist and are safe to access is important for youth who want to further explore the diversity of their identity.”
On the second Wednesday of every month, Sounding Room Squamish hosts a Queer Conversation.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/soundingroomsquamish.
Editor’s note: This is part of a Back to School youth pilot project.
We worked with ‘youth’ reporter Grant Boguski to create content geared to young Squamish residents. Let us know what you think of this initiative by writing email@example.com.