Steinbach student gets gay-straight alliance victory
A gay high school student in Steinbach, Man., has been given approval to put up posters promoting his gay-straight alliance group after a month of being forbidden to do so.
Evan Wiens, 17, set up the group last month but was initially stopped from promoting it in school hallways.
"I put them up [Monday], they were taken down within an hour. But yeah, I plan on putting up more ," he said Tuesday.
On Tuesday night, Wiens was given 10 minutes to speak to the Hanover School Division behind closed doors. Afterwards, he said he felt the meeting went well.
Weins wanted the division to change their policy before the province's anti-bullying bill forces the issue.
"I just want to give them a message of why it’s so important now to start the advertising, and change the policy now, instead of come September when the bill is passed," he said.
Board superintendent Randy Dueck delivered the decision Wednesday afternoon, saying, "A Gay/Straight Alliance may advertise events in a manner equivalent to their school’s existing student initiated groups."
The statement went on to say, "Hanover School Division will continue to work with our schools and our students to ensure safe learning."
The case in Steinbach has become the focal point of a battle over Manitoba's proposed anti-bullying law.
The law would require schools to let students set up gay-straight alliances if they so wish, and some religious leaders and politicians have called the idea a violation of freedom of religion.
With files from The Canadian Press