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Clubs and Groups 303
Clubs and Groups

Bayview's GSA meets every Wednesday after school in

Room 223. 

New members are always welcome!


Gay Straight Alliance (GSA)

Embedding LGBTQ Topics in the Curriculum: Looking at the Need, Examining the Barriers, and Considering the Possibilities in the Secondary School Setting
By: Carolyn Albanese


LGBTQ in the Curriculum - Safety
Students who identify as or are perceived to be from the LGBTQ community are at a higher risk of being bullied at school. This bullying can include but is not limited to verbal, written, physical, sexual and emotional harassment, harm, ostracism and more. Many studies have found that the effects of LGBTQ bullying have an adverse effect on a student’s sense of safety and well-being and in turn can negatively impact her or his chances of academic success. Egale’s First National Climate Survey on Homophobia in Canadian Schools (2009) provides startling statistics on the safety of our LGBTQ students. The Survey found that three-quarters of this marginalized group and specifically ninety-five percent of transgender students felt unsafe at school.
The harmful effects of bullying on LGBTQ students are many, including feeling unsafe at school and in turn giving rise to possible increases in absenteeism, sexual risk-taking, depression, suicide attempts, alcohol and substance abuse. (Meyer, 2011; The Ontario Ministry of Education Safe Schools Action Team Report, 2008; Schneider and Dimito, 2008; Williams et al., 2005; Chesir-Teran, 2003). Clearly the impact of homophobic and transphobic bullying not only impacts our students psychologically, emotionally, socially and physically, but can impact their outcomes for success academically – completing secondary school and pursuing post-secondary studies.
In 2009, the Ministry of Education in Ontario published policy documents directing schools to address equity and inclusivity strategies in their schools.

One area where equity and inclusivity can certainly be embedded is within classroom curriculum, where students from diverse backgrounds, including those from the LGBTQ community, can be engaged in positive representation in the classroom. Research strongly points out that LGBTQ students remain bullied and marginalized and theorists such as Kumashiro posit that by including their voices in the classroom not only will it have a positive impact upon those students, but also examining factors of their oppression with the entire class can be of benefit to all students in their understanding of their oppression. Though some teachers in this study describe a number of factors including negative community reaction, lack of training, clear curriculum expectations and staff resistance as barriers they face or fear facing when considering LGBTQ topics in their classrooms, the Ministry of Education’s Equity and Inclusivity documents direct us to begin examining these factors or barriers and call upon us to create ways to address them, not only because it is now mandated, but for the safety and well-being of all of our students.


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