Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic language and actions have no place in our schools, workplaces or in our community. These behaviours jeopardize the mental and physical well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals. This is not a climate in which people can learn and grow. It needs to change and the government of Ontario recently created new legislation to ensure that every student feels safe, welcome and included at school. Do you know about the Safe and Accepting Schools Act?
Do you know your rights when it comes to LGBTQ bullying? OK2BME worked with a team of researchers at Wilfrid Laurier University to create this poster, called the GSA Bill of Rights, which outlines the rights that you have a student, rights which are guaranteed by the Ontario government’s Safe and Accepting Schools Act.
It’s not OK to be harassed or bullied at school. Under the Safe and Accepting Schools Act, you have the right to learn in a safe and inclusive school. Your principal and teachers are legally obligated to deal with bullying. They must work throughout the year to prevent bullying. If you don’t have someone around you that you feel comfortable talking to, you can also speak with someone at OK2BME about it.
Above all, reach out for some help. You don’t have to put up with bullying, harassment or violence.
Increasingly, workplaces are making an effort to be “safe spaces” for LGBTQ folks. Discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation is illegal and should be reported to your Human Resources department and/or supervisor.
The Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation or same-sex marriage. Click here for more information.
In serious cases, you should contact the police.