TORONTO, May 16, 2012 /CNW/ - The Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA) is proud to recognize May 17 as the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. OECTA members stand in solidarity with those in the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans-identified and queer (LGBTQ) community and their allies, in vocal opposition to homophobia and transphobia.
"It is important to acknowledge that despite a growing awareness of the threats facing many LGBTQ students, workers and their families, there is still much to be done to eliminate the threat of discrimination, harassment and violence in their lives," says OECTA President Kevin O'Dwyer. "As teachers, we speak out against such threats and take the necessary actions to protect our school communities."
OECTA has long proclaimed that all are created in the image of God regardless of age, race, creed, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, mental or physical ability. OECTA has a strong history of striving to achieve equality and justice for all members of society. Included in this struggle are those who identify as LGBTQ.
Affirmed at its 2012 Annual General Meeting and reinforced earlier this month with a conference for classroom teachers and administrators on supporting marginalized and LGBTQ students in Ontario's Catholic schools, OECTA is committed to building Catholic school communities that are welcoming, inclusive environments in which all individuals, including those who are LGBTQ, are safe and respected.
"OECTA will continue to support anti-homophobia education programs and groups in Catholic schools that have the elimination of homophobic and transphobic bullying as their goal," says O'Dwyer. "Furthermore, we call on all parties in the legislature to ensure that all of our students receive the supports they need to feel safe at school, by passing as soon as possible the provisions of Bill 13 that specifically protect LGBTQ students and, by extension, other marginalized students."
OECTA is a teachers' association that represents 45,000 professional women and men who teach all grades in publicly funded English Catholic schools in Ontario.
For further information:
Michelle Despault, Director of Communication
416-925-2493 ext 509, 416-818-7533 (cell)