Limestone recognizes Pride Week in Kingston
Our school district is showing our acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community by raising the Pride flag during Pride Week in Kingston, June 11 to 18. Many of our students, staff, families and community members identify as members of the Rainbow or LGBTQ+ community. Flying the Pride flag alongside the Canadian flag signals that our district and schools provide safe spaces for everyone, it also aligns with our strategic goals focused on equity, inclusion and well-being. We want everyone who learns, works or volunteers in our school board to feel safe and supported, and experience a sense of belonging in a caring learning environment.
Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect including our LGBTQ+ community (LGBTQ+ refers to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer or Questioning. The + refers to people who identify as Intersex, Asexual or an Ally). Regardless of personal values and beliefs, we must follow the Ontario Human Rights Code that protects marginalized groups from discrimination and harassment. We are flying the Pride flag to demonstrate our commitment to our community that discrimination and harassment of any kind will not be tolerated in our schools.
The Board is working to support transgender & LGBTQ+ students as part of our equity and inclusion strategy. For example, the Board now has gender-neutral washrooms in all of our schools and sites, and has recently drafted a support document with definitions and explanations regarding terms and pronouns that students may prefer for themselves. The Board continues to raise awareness and support inclusion and acceptance of other marginalized groups in other ways including supporting persons with disabilities by making our schools more accessible, and creating a new statement that acknowledges the
territorial lands of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee. We continue to work to ensure the equity and inclusion of all our students and staff.
Each of our 10 secondary schools, and some of our elementary schools, have Gay Straight Alliances (GSA). These clubs are safe spaces for our students, staff, and allies of the Rainbow community to come together and discuss issues they may be facing and topics that matter to them. Our GSAs are places that our students feel comfortable being themselves and can have open and honest conversations with their peers. In our elementary schools, through the Health and Physical Education curriculum, students learn to understand and respect things that are the same and different from each other. This includes that not every family looks the same.
Each of our schools is committed to providing its students with a positive school climate. We know that when students feel safe and supported in a healthy, accepting and welcoming school climate, they have greater success. We want everyone to see themselves in Limestone.