TORONTO, and OAKVILLE, Jan. 13 /CNW/ - CAW President Ken Lewenza is
calling on the Halton Catholic District School Board to reverse its ban
on the formation of Gay Straight Alliance groups in its high schools.
In a letter to the Halton Catholic District School Board, Lewenza said
GSAs are essential to promoting safe and respectful learning for all
Banning GSAs "will further isolate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered
and queer students and students of same gender families. LGBTQ youth
who routinely hear homophobic or transphobic comments need a safe place
to turn," writes Lewenza.
"Research has shown that LGBTQ students who are feeling isolated and
bullied are three to four times more likely to attempt suicide, have
increased rates of depression, higher rates of being victims of
discrimination and violence and higher school drop out rates."
Lewenza also points out that in the province of Ontario, Catholic school
boards are publicly funded and therefore should be mandated to follow
policies set out by the Ontario government, including the acceptance
and promotion of Gay Straight Alliances in schools.
The union has a history of defending the rights of LGBTQ people, and
recently passed a statement condemning bullying of LGBTQ youth,
available at: http://www.caw.ca/en/9526.htm
The CAW represents 200,000 workers across the country, including
thousands of workers (and parents) in the Halton region. A number of
CAW local unions in the region have already sent or plan to send
letters to the Halton Catholic District School Board also.
To read the full letter, please visit: http://www.caw.ca/en/9783.htm
SOURCE Canadian Auto Workers
For further information:
For more information, please contact CAW Local 707 (Oakville) Human Rights Chairperson Billy O'Neill (905) 920-2682or CAW National Representative and LGBT Liaison Ken Stuart (office) 204-489-0355