We Need to Break the Silence About Homophobia

TORONTO, May 13 /CNW/ - The International Day Against Homophobia, which is celebrated on May 17th each year, is a day dedicated to the eradication of homophobia in every country around the world. It is also the day on which the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses, ending a century of homophobia in the medical field.

It is hoped that this year's theme, Speaking about Silence - Homophobia in the Sports World, will educate the general population about the need to combat homophobia in both amateur and professional sports.

"There is still much more to be done to eliminate homophobia. As teachers, we must continually strive to break the silence about homophobia to ensure that all students, teachers, and families can enter schools that are safe and inclusive environments," says Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) President Sam Hammond.

"As educators and citizens, teachers want to create an environment that is safe for growth and development.

"It is particularly vital for students who are gay and/or whose parents are gay to see and hear themselves and their experiences reflected in positive ways. All students need to feel valued and included; all students need positive role models," says Hammond.

ETFO has developed and provided classroom resources such as We're Erasing Prejudice for Good and Imagine a World that is Free from Fear, which demonstrate ways to address diversity and inclusion from Kindergarten to Grade 8.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 76,000 elementary public school teachers and education workers across the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.

SOURCE Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

For further information: For further information: Sam Hammond, President, ETFO, (416) 962-3836 (office); Larry Skory, ETFO Communications, (416) 962-3836 (Office), (416) 948-0195 (cell)

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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