Nfld. & Labrador

$90K for gay-straight alliances in schools, says Jackman

Tens of thousands of dollars will be allocated to make schools across Newfoundland and Labrador more welcoming to gay students.

Tens of thousands of dollars will be spent to make schools across Newfoundland and Labrador more welcoming to gay students, according to the province's education minister.

"We know that many young people struggle with issues around sexual orientation – often with hurtful, or even tragic, consequences," said Minister Clyde Jackman in a news release.

"This cannot continue within a school system, and a society, which claims to celebrate diversity and to respect the value of every individual. This resource will help us take an important step forward in recognizing that we all have a responsibility for ensuring that all of our students are accepted, and respected, for who they are."

The province says $90,000 will be provided as support for administrators, teachers, and students who wish to establish gay-straight alliances in their schools.

"The resource, entitled MyGSA (or My Gay-Straight Alliance), will be provided this spring to all Newfoundland and Labrador schools offering Grades 7-12," said the news release.

The MyGSA resource is funded through the provincial government's Violence Prevention Initiative ($50,000) and the Department of Education ($40,000), and developed in partnership with the Women's Policy Office and Egale Canada — the country's lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-human rights organization.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s version of MyGSA is modelled after a similar resource currently available in some Ontario schools, according to the government’s news release.