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By: Robyn Hardern Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity: Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity: Individual Rights & Equality.

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Presentation on theme: "By: Robyn Hardern Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity: Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity: Individual Rights & Equality."— Presentation transcript:

1 By: Robyn Hardern Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity: Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity: Individual Rights & Equality

2 Overview Definitions Rights Training Programs Controversial Issues The Ally Card The Health Curriculum Bill 18 Research Guidelines for Practice

3 Definitions Sexual orientation: refers to the sex of those to whom one is sexually and romantically attracted. Gender Identity: one’s sense of the self as male, female, or transgender Transgender: gender id, expression, behaviour different from assigned sex Transsexual: gender id different from assigned sex Often alter body with surgery/hormones Gender expression: the way one acts to communicate gender within a given culture (clothing, communication patterns) American Psychological Association, 2011.

4 The Charter of Rights & Freedoms Fundamental freedoms Conscience and religion Thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication Peaceful assembly Association Equality Rights (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability. Affirmative action programs (2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability. Enforcement of guaranteed rights and freedoms (1) Anyone whose rights or freedoms, as guaranteed by this Charter, have been infringed or denied may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain such remedy as the court considers appropriate and just in the circumstances. Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms The Voice of Russia, March 11, 2013.

5 Canadian Human Rights Act 2. All individuals should have an opportunity equal with other individuals to make for themselves the lives that they are able and wish to have and to have their needs accommodated, without being hindered in or prevented from doing so by discriminatory practices Proscribed Discrimination 3. (1) Prohibited grounds of discrimination are race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered. Canadian Human Rights Act

6 School District No. 44 (North Vancouver) v. Jubran, 2005 BCCA 201 Jubran was the victim of homophobic harassment Called names & physically assaulted B.C. Human Rights Tribunal Conduct was harassment on basis of sexual orientation School district responsible for discrimination in learning environment B.C. Supreme Court Tribunal erred – Jubran is not homosexual & harassers did not believe he was Court of Appeal Agreed with B.C. Human Rights Tribunal Emphasis should be on effects of taunts, not intentions and beliefs of harassers The school was found liable Canadian Human Rights Reporter, 2013;, 2005

7 The Rainbow Resource Centre Awareness & Training Programs LGBTTQ Awareness Training LGBTTQ Ally Training School & Classroom Presentations Youth Educating Against Homophobia (YEAH) Creating a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Trans Awareness & Competence Training Gender Identity & Awareness Training Gender Identity & Awareness Training for Social Service Providers Transgender & Gender Non-conforming Students in School Settings

8 Teachers as Child Advocates Tendency to take on advocacy roles Natural advocates due to day-to-day contact Can act as advocate in school system or via external resources Advocacy role becoming increasingly complex Importance of co-opting and coordinating services Teachers and the Law

9 Ally Cards As an Ally, I envision a society that embraces, values and celebrates diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions. As an Ally, I support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Two-Spirit, intersex, queer, and questioning individuals, families, and communities. As an Ally, I work towards a more aware, affirming, safe and open work environment in both policy and practice. As an Ally, I acknowledge that creating a safe space is an unwavering process that requires productive commitment, re-assessment, and dedication. As an Ally, I am committed to the elimination of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, and heterosexism as well as other forms of oppression.

10 Training Programs - WSD All permanent and term staff attended mandatory one-half day human rights/anti-homophobia workshops As new permanent or term employees are hired, they must attend a one-half day human rights/anti- homophobia workshop

11 Training Programs 1. Should students in schools attend workshops? a) Should these be optional? b) What grades should be involved? 2. Should these workshops be optional or mandatory for staff members?

12 The Health Curriculum K-12 General Learning Outcome: “The student will demonstrate the ability to make informed decisions for healthy living related to personal health practices, active living, healthy nutritional practices, substance use and abuse, and human sexuality” Parental Option: “Parents may choose a school-based or alternative delivery of potentially sensitive content (human sexuality). Parents have the right to opt for alternative delivery (e.g., home, professional counselling) for their child where the content is in conflict with family, religious, and/or cultural values.”

13 The Health Curriculum Should students be able to opt out of parts of the health curriculum that pertain to gender diversity? Should the health curriculum contain information specific to homosexuality? What grades should include this information?

14 BILL 18: THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS AMENDMENT ACT (SAFE AND INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS) Respect for Human Diversity Policy Promote and enhance: Safe & inclusive learning environment Acceptance of and respect for others Creation of a positive school environment Address training for teachers and other staff Student Activities and Organizations Promote awareness and understanding of, and respect for, people of all sexual orientations and gender identities Use the name "gay-straight alliance" or any other name that is consistent with the promotion of a positive school environment that is inclusive and accepting of all pupils

15 Safe & Caring Schools The broad anti-bullying strategy includes: Teacher training supports, workshops and other professional learning opportunities, and ongoing support for the Respect in School initiative Online information and resources on how to recognize, deal with and report bullying for parents Help for students Goals: Support students, broaden reporting, respect diversity Address role of social media in bullying Allow student-supported initiatives at schools aimed at promoting an inclusive environment Manitoba Education, 2012

16 Bill 18 & Gay-Straight Alliances Student-run clubs that provide a safe place for students to: Meet, support, & talk about sexual orientation, gender identity, & expression Strive to end homophobia & transphobia

17 Discrimination and Harassment C.C.S.M. c. H175 9(1) Discrimination: Differential treatment of an individual on the basis of: The individual's actual or presumed membership in or association with some class or group of persons, rather than on the basis of personal merit; Any characteristic referred to in subsection (2) The individual's or group's actual or presumed association with another individual or group whose identity or membership is determined by any characteristic referred to in subsection (2) Failure to make reasonable accommodation for the special needs of any individual or group, if those special needs are based upon any characteristic referred to in subsection (2). The Human Rights Code

18 Creating Safe & Affirming Schools 2009 National Climate Survey: Hearing biased or homophobic remarks Feeling unsafe Missing classes Experiences of harassment/assault Kosciw, J. G., Greytak, E. A., Diaz, E. M., Bartkiewicz, M. J. (2009)

19 Creating Safe & Affirming Schools Hostile School Environments: 72.4% heard homophobic remarks 61.1% felt unsafe 84.6% verbally & 40.1% physically harassed 18.8% physically assaulted 52.9% experienced cyber-bullying Absentees Lowered education aspiration/academic achievement Poorer psychological well-being Kosciw, J. G., Greytak, E. A., Diaz, E. M., Bartkiewicz, M. J. (2009)

20 Creating Safe & Affirming Schools Comprehensive bullying/harassment legislation Bullying/harassment policies Support student clubs Address LGBT issues in education Training for staff Increase student access to appropriate & accurate information Kosciw, J. G., Greytak, E. A., Diaz, E. M., Bartkiewicz, M. J. (2009)

21 Research in Canada “Tell Them From Me” (Manitoba) Grade 4-12 How often bullying happens When/where What would make students feel safe National Study Teachers’ perceptions of homophobia in schools Compare to student perceptions What resources do teachers need? Government of Manitoba, March 7, 2013; Martin, N., October 12, 2012.

22 Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients Attitudes Toward Homosexuality & Bisexuality Understand the effects of stigma & contextual manifestations Lesbian, gay, and bisexual orientations are not mental illnesses Same-sex attractions, feelings, and behavior are normal variants of human sexuality Recognize own attitudes/beliefs Recognize unique experiences of bisexual individuals Distinguish sexual orientation from gender identity Relationships & Families Gain knowledge & respect the importance of relationships Understand experiences & challenges Understand ways orientation may impact family of origin & relationship Issues of Diversity Challenges related to multiple or conflicting norms, values, & beliefs Influences of religion & spirituality Unique problems/risks that exist for youth Recognize challenges Education & Training Increase knowledge/understanding through continuing education/training American Psychological Association, 2011

23 References American Psychological Association. (2011). Practice Guidelines for LGB Clients: Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients. Retrieved from: American Psychological Association. (2011). The Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients, adopted by the APA Council of Representatives, February 18-20, 2011. Retrieved from: Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Retrieved from: Canadian Human Rights Act. Retrieved from: Canadian Human Rights Reporter. Homophobic harassment by student breaches code. Retrieved from: http://www.cdn-hr- CanLii. (2005). School District No. 44 (North Vancouver) v. Jubran, 2005 BCCA 201. Retrieved from: Government of Manitoba. (2013). The Human Rights Code. Retrieved from: Government of Manitoba. (2013, March 7). Province supports interactive online student survey tool to prevent bullying, make schools safer: Minister announces safe and inclusive schools forum. Retrieved from: Kosciw, J. G., Greytak, E. A., Diaz, E. M., and Bartkiewicz, M. J. (2010). The 2009 National School Climate Survey: The experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in our nation’s schools. New York: GLSEN. Manitoba Education. (2012). Safe and Caring Schools. Retrieved from: 01&item=15793 Martin, N. (2012, October 12). National study to quiz teachers on homophobia. Retrieved from: Teachers as social welfare agents. Teachers and the law (pp. 131-157). The Voice of Russia. (2013, March 11). The queen to sign historic charter promoting gay rights across the Commonwealth. Retrieved from:

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