Inclusive Education - Diversity & Difference Part 2
November 17, 2016 - this week when I was at my host school I asked about the inclusion question for this week.
How is your school community honouring diversity, equity and human rights for all students (including sexual and gender diversity) within their schools and communities?
My host teacher needed to think about this for a bit and said that the only thing she knew was that she had a sign outside her door saying everyone is included. I asked her if her school had any information sessions or seminars about this and she said no they did not.
I forgot to get a photo of this, but will get one next week.
Pictures used with permission.
To my surprise when I showed up for my fifth week of observation at my assigned school the students had the day off.
So to fulfill my requirement this week I will use the school that I work at as my example with a little bit of research thrown in for filler.
How is your school community honouring diversity, equity, and human rights for all students (including sexual and gender diversity) within their schools and communities?
Last year during the opening address our religious liason gave a talk on gender diversity. We, also, had a transgender male speak. There was an atmosphere of caring and inclusion. Learning firsthand from an adult that struggled many years to be recognized as the male he was is heart-wrenching.
In the year before this we had a new male student, who had previously attended the school as a female, re-enroll as a male. I found that he was accepted readily by staff and his friends. One moment of humour for me was when a group of boys, he included, were standing at the bottom of the stairs when a food order came in. I asked the boys for their assistance and all, but this one newly presented boy agreed to help. I noticed him hesitate and I stressed ALL boys were to help. They all teased him and said yea, you better help, too.
This young boy, in grade 7, was assigned to use one of the kindergarten washrooms for his own. I felt that would have been a wee bit humiliating for him. However, the staff of 50+ only had two toilets for themselves and this was the only way to accommodate his needs.
Many examples of Indigenous beliefs and art are present in our schools.
Our new school, completion date is spring this year, will have many more bathrooms for everyone and they will all be gender neutral with common areas for the sinks.
I did some digging and unearthed a few articles addressing the needs to both accommodate and understand the needs of the LGBTQ students that attend Regina schools.
According to the following article the Regina Catholic School Board is a little ahead in accepting diversity in this regard.
This article, published by the Ministry of Education, recognizes the need for learning environments that LGBTQ students feel safe, trusted, included and accepted for who they are. Accommodations of everyone's needs including girls that wish to play traditionally male orientated sports, like football. Questions are raised as to how coaches will handle gay-bashing remarks on and off the court (p.57) Gender preferred dancing in pow-wow's is also addressed and exclusionary practices are called into question(p. 46) and the list goes on.
The Regina Catholic Schools Catholic Studies Curriculum appears to be studying diversity issues in relation to their belief system. The desire is to grow in their understanding of all issues of diversity and the role they play in diverse religious/faith beliefs, gender diversity, diverse viewpoints, especially Indigenous worldviews, medicine wheels, etc.
Sunday, 4 December 2016, 4:22 PM
by Fallan K
Wow! Thanks for the articles! I had no idea, and apparently neither did the teacher I was with.
I did not even think to look for gender neutral washrooms. All I noticed was the clearly labelled "Women Staff Only" washroom.
Thanks for the reading material, I gained some new knowledge and understanding!