JersVision.org has and continues to be an avid porponent of Bill 13 in Ontario, fighting for the rights of students to organize the clubs they want in their schools. This week, we will continue to submit the over 10,000 signatures from Canadian youth that we have collected for Bill 13, and speak at the Legislative committee for the bill. Please see the press release below we sent out.
Ottawa Community Supports Accepting Schools Act
MPP Yasir Naqvi and local groups speak out in favour of Bill 13
May 22, 2012
Today, the legislative committee currently debating Ontario’s comprehensive anti-bullying legislation – Bill 13, the Accepting Schools Act – travelled to Ottawa for public hearings. Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi was joined by Ottawa-area community groups who were not able to present at the public hearings as a result of overwhelming public interest in this important piece of legislation.
If passed, the Accepting Schools Act would require school boards to create policies around progressive discipline, and equity and inclusive education. The legislation seeks to make Ontario schools places where every student, regardless of race, creed, culture, gender or sexual orientation, feels welcome and respected.
Here’s what the Ottawa community had to say about the importance of Accepting Schools Act:
JEREMY DIAS, FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, JER’S VISION
“The Accepting Schools Act offers real change, and supports youth initiatives in ways that we have never seen before. Almost every day, youth volunteers at Jer’s Vision engage with their peers to run initiatives to make schools and communities safer including projects with Gay Straight Alliances, Rainbow Alliances and Diversity Clubs. These student-run groups would get the support they deserve as a result of this bill.”
DENIS SCHRYBURT, PRESIDENT, PINK TRIANGLE SERVICES
“The Accepting Schools Act will finally provide school boards with the tools needed to address the serious issue of bullying that has plagued our schools for far too long without serious consequences. Bill 13 will hopefully open more doors for PTS to provide much needed diversity training to our youth and educators through its Creating Safer Spaces Program.”
LORESA NOVY, CAPITAL PRIDE
“As an organization dedicated to making the Ottawa area more safe and inclusive for people who are LGBTQ, we are proud to support a bill that seeks to do the same in every classroom and school in Ontario. We know that students who identify as LGBTQ don’t feel as safe as they should at school that’s why legislation like the Accepting Schools Act is some important. ”
ANGELA CAMERON, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA LAW SCHOOL
“Bill 13 finally brings Ontario in line with our human rights obligations to gay, lesbian and transgendered youth. It is clear law that school boards must provide a safe learning environment free from discriminatory harassment, for all students. Bill 13 takes major strides towards making a safe learning environment a reality for all youth in Ontario’s publicly funded schools.”
Office of Yasir Naqvi, MPP