Outreach Materials (iSMSS)

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  1. Beyond Homophobia: We need to make it better [Download]

    Title: Beyond Homophobia: We need to make it better
    Creator: Wells, Kristopher
    Description: Within the past several weeks, seven young men in the United States and two young women in Canada have tragically committed suicide due to homophobic bullying, harassment, and societal prejudice. Research indicates that suicide is the number one cause of death amongst gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth in North America. However, it is not the number one cause of death for heterosexual youth. What explains this difference? Important risk factors for adolescent suicide include experiences of substance abuse, feelings of hopelessness, sexual abuse, a history of family dysfunction, and the recent or attempted suicide of a close friend or family member. In addition to these more general risk factors, sexual-minority youth also face additional distinctive risk factors such as a lack of family acceptance, age at which they come out, gender atypicality, and bullying or conflict because of their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. On average, sexual minority youth are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.
    Subjects: Sexual minority students, Homophobia in high schools, Sexual minorities, Inclusive education, Queer Youth, Education, Homophobia, Gender minorities
    Date Created: 2010
  2. Homophobic Bullying. Children’s Services and Education [Download]

    Title: Homophobic Bullying. Children’s Services and Education
    Creator: Wells, Kristopher
    Description: Homophobic bullying is defined as bullying behaviours that are motivated by prejudice against a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender. You don’t have to be a sexual minority to identity. You don’t have to be a sexual minority to become a target. For example, while using comments like “that’s so gay” may seem innocent, they still contribute to the development of a negative or hostile environment towards sexual minorities. They also serve as a way to keep people in their “gender boxes” by reinforcing stereotypes of what it means to be male or female. Too often homophobia becomes the language of bullying which targets anyone who is perceived as different or outside the “norm”. Homophobic name-calling and gay bashing is bullying with a theme. Bullies who hide behind homophobic beliefs and attitudes are still bullies. In fact, law enforcement may consider homophobic bullying to be a hate incident–something that’s against the law.
    Subjects: Sexual minorities, Bullying, Queer youth, Homophobia in high schools, Gender minorities, Education, Sexual orientation, Sexual minority students, Homophobia, Inclusive education
    Date Created: 2007
  3. Creating Safe, Caring and Inclusive Schools for LGBTQ Students: A guide for counsellors [Download]

    Title: Creating Safe, Caring and Inclusive Schools for LGBTQ Students: A guide for counsellors
    Creator: Wells, Kristopher
    Description: The role of the modern school counsellor is increasingly complex, multifaceted and vital in the creation of healthy, vibrant and resilient schools. Because of their diversity of experiences, school counsellors are in a unique role to be leading change agents and advocates for inclusion, human rights and social justice in their schools. The Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communities believes that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-identifi ed and queer (LGBTQ) students or those who are labelled as such are among the most at-risk groups in today’s schools. Schools must become safe, caring and inclusive environments for LGBTQ students and their families and school counsellors can play a catalytic role in creating welcoming environments. Counsellors can help schools make the transition from risky to resilient spaces that accommodate and respect the needs and concerns of all students, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The information, strategies and ethical guidelines presented in this resource are designed to help counsellors show and model respect and caring, develop supports and services for LGBTQ students, and identify policy gaps or absences in school programming and services. While this guide is primarily written to build the professional capacities of school-based counsellors, it will also be of value to school administrators and teachers who teach career and life management, personal perspectives or health classes. In addition, preservice teachers and professional counselling schools may also fi nd this material a useful resource in discussions of informed consent, ethical conduct and reflective practice.
    Subjects: Inclusive education, Sexual minorities, Education, Sexual minority students, Gender minorities, Queer youth
    Date Created: 2005
  4. Supporting Transgender and Transsexual Students in K-12 Schools: A Guide for Educators [Download]

    Title: Supporting Transgender and Transsexual Students in K-12 Schools: A Guide for Educators
    Creator: Roberts, Gayle
    Description: The Canadian Teachers’ Federation continues to support the right of all students, teachers, and parents to a safe, inclusive, and welcoming school environment. The learning atmosphere of a school is dependent on a broad environment of social interaction within a diverse community of human potential, individual growth, and deep commitment to engaged citizenry. Increasingly our pluralistic society recognizes that quality education requires more than mere tolerance. To move beyond tolerance, or the “putting up with difference”, we must engage our ethical, moral, and professional responsibilities in order to embrace and to learn from diversity and difference. We must see this as a critical opportunity for self and social improvement. This deep engagement ought to include a sustained conversation in our schools on issues related to human sexuality, gender equality, and non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. The stark reality is that there is still much work for us to do if we are to move beyond shallow notions of tolerance and envision the day in which we will build truly genuine school cultures based on respect and dignity that not only support, but also affirm and celebrate the full range of human potential and diversity. This CTF publication is the fifth in an educational series designed for teachers, administrators, and counsellors who are seeking information and guidance on these complex and increasingly important social issues. This current guidebook is intended to increase professional knowledge, understanding, and sensitivity around transgender and transsexual students who research indicates are amongst the most at-risk groups of students for bullying, discrimination, and violence in our schools today. The authors write with great skill and compassion as they recognize the important and life-changing role that inclusive educational environments can play in building the personal resilience of transgender and transsexual students and their families. This guidebook is a ground-breaking, leading-edge, and timely resource for all who understand education as a critical means for raising the quality of life and potential for all students who walk through our school house doors. No child should go to school in fear. Wells, Roberts, and Allan compel us to question our taken-for-granted practices and to open up our hearts and minds to ensure that a truly inclusive education becomes a practice of freedom, liberation, and hope that we live out everyday in our classrooms and schools across the nation.
    Subjects: Gender minorities, Transgender youth, Queer youth, Sexual minority students, Transsexual youth, Sexual minorities, Education, Inclusive education
    Date Created: 2012
  5. Questions & Answers: Sexual Orientation in Schools [Download]

    Title: Questions & Answers: Sexual Orientation in Schools
    Creator: Wells, Kristopher
    Description: First published in 1994 and revised in 2003 and 2008, the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Canadian Guidelines for Sexual Health Education (Guidelines) were developed to assist professionals working in the area of health promotion and sexual health education in programming which supports positive sexual health outcomes. Feedback from a national evaluation of the Guidelines indicated the need for companion documents to provide more detailed information, evidence and resources on specific issues. In response, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) identified a ‘question and answer’ format as an appropriate way to provide information to educators and other professional working with school-aged populations. The Questions and Answers styled documents are intended to cover a range of topics reflecting current issues in sexual health education with school-aged populations, are evidence-based and use inclusive language as reflected in the Guidelines. This document, Questions & Answers: Sexual Orientation in Schools, is intended to address the most commonly asked questions regarding the sexual orientation of youth in school settings. The goal of this resource is to assist educators, curriculum and program planners, school administrators, policy-makers and health professionals in the creation of supportive and healthy school environments for youth struggling with issues of sexual orientation.
    Subjects: Inclusive education, Sexual health, Gender minorities, Sexual minorities, Queer youth, Sexual orientation, Sexual minority students, Education
    Date Created: 2010