The Lab School's Commitment to the
September 19th, 2023
At JICS Lab School, we take immense pride in cultivating an educational environment where every student, parent, teacher, and staff member experiences a sense of safety, respect, and value. We are acutely aware that schools can sometimes become inhospitable for 2SLGBTQIA+ students, teachers, and staff, often characterized by adverse climates marked by bullying, discrimination, and hostility related to sexual orientation and gender identity. These detrimental encounters can severely impact their well-being and hinder their educational and personal growth.
Our conviction in the moral imperative of diversity compels us to address any form of discrimination head-on and to create an educational milieu where every individual belongs. Our approach is firmly grounded in evidence-based strategies that have consistently proven effective in supporting both 2SLGBTQIA+ students and all students in thriving within our school community.
Inclusive Policies: We have established robust policies and procedures explicitly designed to safeguard, support, and celebrate 2SLGBTQIA+ students and their families. These policies set the foundation for an inclusive school community.
Professional Development: Our dedicated educators and school staff undergo continuous professional development to equip them with the necessary tools to support and protect all students in developmentally appropriate ways. This training not only fosters understanding but also cultivates a nurturing environment.
Inclusive Curriculum: Our commitment to providing access to information and support regarding sexual orientation and gender identity or expression is unwavering. Our curriculum ensures that students have access to developmentally appropriate resources and support that reflect the diversity of our school community.
Student-Led Clubs: We actively encourage and support student-led clubs and organizations, such as the Junior Grade Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA), that work tirelessly to enhance the school experience and well-being of all students. This club plays a pivotal role in fostering a positive school climate where everyone can thrive.
We wish to emphasize that these strategies transcend mere words on paper; they are integral to our school culture and guide our daily operations. We are steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that our school remains a secure, inclusive, and supportive space for every student, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
To further fortify our dedication to creating a safe and inclusive educational environment, we encourage open communication and active engagement from all members of our school community. We firmly believe that through collective effort, we can continue to make significant strides toward a more inclusive and accepting environment for all.
In recent times we have regrettably witnessed a distressing surge in anti-trans hate speech and actions across our nation including regressive provincial education policies. At JICS, we feel compelled to address this pressing issue and reiterate our resolute commitment to standing unwaveringly and proudly with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.
It is disheartening to witness the rise of fear, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and hate speech being employed to fuel anti-trans bigotry. It has come to our attention that hate rallies are being organized in communities throughout Canada, including in Toronto this week, with a direct focus on the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and the principles of equity and inclusion.
What is profoundly distressing is that these organizations manipulate the well-being of children as a pretext for their hateful agenda. Their harmful portrayal of trans individuals disregards the mental health and well-being of trans children and adults.
While these organizations espouse a range of alt-right conspiracies and talking points, their specific target is SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity)-inclusive education, which aims to celebrate the diversity of families. In light of these events, we wish to unequivocally affirm our stance against hate and our unwavering support for SOGI and other developmentally appropriate resources that foster inclusivity, creating a more welcoming environment for all students and adults.
It is imperative that our community and our movement continue to manifest our rejection of hate and bigotry in all their forms. As we have seen, these groups do not limit their targeting to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community alone, and incidents of violence and harassment across our country underscore the genuine impact of this kind of hate. The lives and well-being of trans individuals hang in the balance, and it falls upon each one of us to take a stand.
In conclusion, we wish to reiterate our unwavering commitment to nurturing an inclusive, secure, and welcoming environment for all students at JICS Lab School. We stand united against hate and discrimination and are steadfast in our mission to foster a culture of empathy, acceptance, and respect.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude for your continued support, and we encourage you to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Together, we have the power to make a positive difference in the lives of our students and our broader community.
Richard Messina Chriss Bogert
Principal Vice Principal