In B.C. schools will have to incorporate lessons about sexual orientation in anti-bullying messages
Anti-bullying policies in all schools in British Columbia will soon have to include explicit references to sexual orientation and gender identity.
Education Minister Mike Bernier announced Thursday that school districts and independent schools will have until the end of the year to update their anti-bullying policies.
Bernier became choked up while speaking about his daughter, who he said was now in her mid-20s but came out as gay when she was 19.
“At that time, (she) was telling me all the problems she had when she was in school,” he said.
“For today, it really makes it important for me in a personal way, but it also gives me a real sense of what other people have been going through.”
Critics say change too long coming
Schools in B.C. have been required to have general anti-bullying policies since the ERASE Bullying strategy was introduced in 2012.
Now, those policies will have to include explicit references to sexual orientation and gender identity, if they do not already.
NDP critics say the policy change hs been too long in coming, long urged and largely ignored.
“For years, Christy Clark’s government said that protections for sexual orientation was not an issue. Had she put these protections in earlier, we could have protected many young people from violence and bullying,” said NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert.