Canadian schools want to support safety for LGBTQ students: Study
WINNIPEG — Most Canadian school administrators want to improve the safety and wellbeing of LGBTQ youth, a national study says.
The study, headed by the University of Winnipeg, surveyed 141 Canadian school districts, including rural, urban regional and Catholic divisions.
“It was significant to find that there is such support and goodwill towards LGBTQ students coming from the top,” said Dr. Catherine Taylor, an education professor at the University of of Winnipeg who led the survey.
“This suggests that the time has come to end the official and unofficial ‘don’t say the word gay’ rule that still exists in many schools and introduce specific supports to ensure the wellbeing of LGBTQ youth.”
The purpose of the study was to create a detailed picture of how school systems are acting to support LGBTQ students across the country.
It found a vast majority of teachers approve LGBTQ-inclusive education. It also found teachers in Catholic schools are only slightly less likely to approve, but much less likely to practice, LGBTQ-inclusive education.
Two per cent of respondants cited conflict with personal religious beliefs as holding them back on LGBTQ teaching. Eighteen per cent said teachers should be able to opt out for religious reasons.
Among the main reasons given for not teaching in LGBTQ-inclusive ways were lack of leadership and resources.
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