Official Opposition Caucus call on King government and Public School Board to take immediate action to protect 2SLGBTQIA+ youth in our schools
Charlottetown, PE - Recently, disturbing details came to light showing the environments in some of our Island schools have not been inclusive, and as a result many 2SLGBTQIA+ students and their allies do not feel safe. These incidents included students in black shirts questioning other students and ostracizing them for their support of 2SLGBTQIA+ classmates, and the removal of Pride flags.
This is unacceptable, and it is doubly unacceptable during Pride Month, when we celebrate the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and reflect on the prejudice and discrimination they have faced and still continue to face.
We have heard concerns from many students and community members. As one student (aged 13) wrote to us: “the point of Pride is to celebrate and educate and our education system isn’t doing its job. Kids my age are experiencing the adult world every day - sexual assault, drug use, homophobia, racism - and this is not something you can protect us from. But it is the school’s responsibility to protect us from experiencing those things from our peers.”
The Official Opposition is calling on government to immediately investigate these incidents and take the appropriate remedial and disciplinary action. We are contacting the Child and Youth Advocate to request an independent review and assessment of our Island learning environments. Finally, we are urging all interested Islanders to participate in the Gender Diversity Guidelines consultation process so we can better support and protect students in the future.
Safe learning environments are fundamental to the wellbeing and education of our Island children. Ultimately, it is government and education leadership’s responsibility to set the tone and ensure our students are protected. Each day that government fails to provide a safe learning environment is one day too many.