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Students Speak Out on Creating Safe Spaces for the 2SLGBTQ+ Community
News Release
Students Speak Out on Creating Safe Spaces for the 2SLGBTQ+ Community

RICHMOND HILL - Over 250 York Region District School Board (YRDSB) staff and students attended the Board’s SpeakOUT conference yesterday focused on educating and empowering YRDSB students in the 2SLGBTQ+ community. 

This is the 10th year YRDSB is hosting SpeakOUT. Each of YRDSB’s 33 secondary schools could send up to eight student delegates to attend the conference. 

“SpeakOUT has fostered and continues to foster inclusivity by providing a safe space for high school students who self-identify as 2SLGBTQ and their allies to come together annually at a student leadership conference to learn about a wide variety of topics from healthy relationships, to expressing themselves honestly, to being an effective activist for change.  These youth then take the learning and have affected change in all corners of our school board fostering inclusiveness in school sites, starting and maintaining GSAs/Equity Clubs and more,” said Conference Co-Chair Jennifer Speiran.

Students had the opportunity to meet and work with new people and chose from 14 different networking sessions and workshops covering topics such as: 

  • the beauty and barriers of 2 spirit/Queer-Trans Indigenous people
  • supports available as students move on to post-secondary or the workforce
  • intersectionality
  • healthy relationships
  • policing @ YRP with Pride
  • creating safe spaces

The learning also wasn’t limited to students. Teachers and administrators participated in workshops and shared ideas with other Gay-Straight Alliance Advisors. They also met with student MCs to hear feedback about the issues that surfaced among students.

York Region District School Board is the third largest school district in Ontario with over 127,000 students in 180 elementary schools and 33 secondary schools. York Region students consistently perform above average in provincial testing and the Board is one of the top achievers in Ontario. For more information about the York Region District School Board, please visit our website: and follow us on Twitter: @YRDSB.


For further information:
Jamie Bennett
Corporate Communications                                                                                                        
905-727-0022 Ext. 2272


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