GSWS Associate Faculty Members Speak Out on LGBT Policies in Local Highschools

June 10, 2011

Coquitlam Now quoted Brian Burtch and Ann Travers in a story about the coming June 14 vote of the Burnaby School District office on a policy that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning individuals in an environment free from harassment and exclusion.

"‘These initiatives are welcoming when you get community agencies being part of this mix,’ said Burtch, an associate member of SFU's department of gender, sexuality and women's studies, adding school-based endeavours, like Centennial's Diversity Project, also make an impact.

"‘It provides people of different sexual orientations with a sense that they belong, that they're actually part of the school and that they're not unwelcome or marginalized in the school from day to day,’ Burtch said.”

"I think it must be terrifying and concerning to see the mass of parents trying to stop the policy because they believe homosexuality is a sin. It must be really terrifying," said Travers, who spoke as a delegation before the Burnaby school board.

"But to see their peers, other high school students, demonstrating in support of that policy -- I'm convinced that just the presence of those high school students who are visible allies or visibly queer has saved a couple kids they don't even know."

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