The Vancouver Island North Teachers’ Association (VINTA) is calling on School District 85 (SD85) to adhere to its own anti-discrimination policies and express clear support for 2SLGBTQIA+ community members.
According to a news release from VINTA President Jason Voth, the teachers association has crafted a joint letter that has received support from CUPE. VINTA has asked for unified support for 2SLGBTQIA+ students, staff, and community members from the school district and the CUPE union. It has been a month of waiting for some response from SD85 to share support with the unions for our 2SLGBTQIA+ community.
“With the spread of misinformation sparking fear and homophobic/transphobic reactions around the province, in recent months, it is essential to show our support for an inclusive society,” stated Voth in the news release. “As an educational institution it is crucial to ensure that all schools are safe and supportive of everyone. The BC Human Rights Code is clear in how public institutions are supposed to act/protect the people, no matter what their presentation is. Other Districts on Vancouver Island were quick to respond to the Anti-SOGI protests with joint statements of support for the 2SLGBTQIA+ students and staff, ensuring their efforts to make the school environment safe and welcoming.”
“Schools are especially important in supporting the 2SLGBTQIA+ community because this is where society learns how to treat people who might be vulnerable,” added Voth.
The Gazette reached out to SD85 Board Chair Leightan Wishart for a response, but he declined to comment on the matter.