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School District 91 holds first ‘Share the Love Day’

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia recognized
On May 17, students, teachers, municipal council and other stakeholders lined up on the crosswalk that will be painted in rainbow colours to support the LGBTQ2S+ members of Vanderhoof. Nadine Frenkel, Board Chair for School District 91 said, “As SD91 we fully acknowledge this day, May 17, and want to see more inclusivity in our communities. Not just our communities, but provincially. We have a group at NVSS that is representing those marginalized in the community and we want to make sure the group has a safe space to go to school.” (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)

Love was shared across School District 91 as staff and students stood up against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia.

“Share the Love Day” held Monday, May 17, saw staff and students gather virtually for an online lunch session to chat and commit to being a voice for inclusion and allyship as well as participate in a Kahoot quiz developed by EBUS.

The quiz was also available throughout the day as well as a variety of instructor resources, including videos, colouring activities and inclusive lessons such as story reading.

Director of instruction, Claire McKay meets every month with each of the schools’ sexual orientations and gender identities (SOGI) leads where they talk about resources and what people might need help with.

“What came out of that group was that they would like do something district-wide, and we chose the 17th because it’s such an important day,” McKay said

May 17 is an internationally recognized day celebrating sexual and gender diversity while commemorating the 1990 decision by the World Health Organization to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.

B.C.’s Ministry of Education estimates 64 per cent of LGBTQ+ students do not feel welcome in schools across the province.

“That’s always our aim to help learners feel belonging in a school because we know, the research is clear, that unless learners feel welcome and that they belong in a building they’re not in a place to be able to learn, and of course it affects their mental health which is something that we’re all concerned about,” McKay said.

“So we’re really hopeful that these kinds of events like May the 17th start to be able to make things more welcoming for these learners and that they see that there’s a place for them to be.”

Read More: NVSS Queer Alliance group in Vanderhoof launch “Share the Love” campaign

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