Catholic teachers reaffirm support for marginalized and LGBTQ students

TORONTO, May 17, 2013 /CNW/ - The Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA) is proud to recognize May 17 as the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and reaffirms its commitment to providing safe, inclusive and respectful environments for all students to learn and grow.

Nearly one year after the passage of Bill 13, the Accepting Schools Act, Catholic teachers continue to support anti-homophobia education programs and groups in Catholic schools that have the goal of eliminating homophobic and transphobic bullying - both in schools and online.

"OECTA has been a leading voice in our Catholic community promoting schools that are welcoming for our LGBTQ students," said Kevin O'Dwyer, OECTA President. "Great progress has been made and now is not the time to take a step backwards. We must continue to be vigilant in our efforts to ensure our schools are physically and emotionally safe for our students."

This year, OECTA provided workshops to hundreds of teachers across the province about the issues that marginalized and lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered and questioning (LGBTQ) students face in the classroom and online. Participants shared ideas and returned to their classrooms with concrete examples of what they can do immediately to become, as one teacher explained, "an agent of change to make change visible."

"As Catholic teachers we have a special duty of care that calls on us to nurture, accept, and respect every student," said Kevin O'Dwyer, OECTA president. "I am proud of the work that OECTA's teachers do everyday to apply our belief that every student is created equal."

OECTA represents the 45,000 professional women and men who teach all grades in publicly funded English Catholic schools in Ontario.

SOURCE: Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association

For further information:

Michelle Despault, Director of Communications
416-925-2493 ext 509,

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Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association

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