After being violently assaulted by two girls in middle school, the community came out en masse in support of the transgender teen.
On Sunday, the line of cars, trucks, motorcycles and even horses stretched for kilometres as thousands of people showed their support for the victim while taking a stand against transphobia and bullying.
“We just can’t believe how many messages we’ve received from people just saying, ‘We’re behind you,’” said the victim’s mother, who CTV News is not identifying. “And to know that they’re supporting our child as well is amazing.”
The images of a schoolyard beating on January 11, 2021, of a transgender teen student outside of École Heritage Park Middle School, sit in stark contrast to pictures of the Mission School District’s SOGI 123 Salish Weaving project gifting a rainbow blanket “to value our relationship with Indigenous and LGBTQ communities by way of a Stó:lō Honouring Ceremony”.
All sixty school districts in British Columbia participate in SOGI 123, now in its fourth year of being incorporated into education practices across the province. SOGI is the acronym for sexual orientation and gender identity. SOGI 123 provides teaching aids and guidance for educators and parents to create more inclusive and safe schools for students who identify as LGBTQ2S+.
The initial reaction by Superintendent Angus Wilson, while calling the attack “hideous and horrendous”, was to blame it on COVID. This unfortunate statement was quickly walked back by the board of trustees promising their policies will be reviewed. Given this attack and reports that it is not an isolated incident with other LGBTQS+ students at the school reporting similar bullying, a review is seriously past due. These incidents of bullying also point out the futility of anti-bullying policies as a means of prevention. This was one of the reasons for the establishment of SOGI 123.
Several right-wing political activists created a flurry of campaigns to oppose the implementation of SOGI 123 in 2018 claiming it was an ideology. They began showing up to protest at school district meetings and one of the most outspoken opponents Laura Lynn Thompson even ran for a Burnaby School District position on a platform of SOGI 123 opposition which she lost. Since then SOGI 123 has scarcely been in the news.
This incident of bullying and victimization of a transgender teen in a school setting calls for SOGI 123 to be back in focus. How are schools, school boards, and parents failing those who face prejudice, bias, and hate when they have the tools and resources at their disposal for prevention? Are schools and boards participating in SOGI 123 simply to be seen as being compliant? It’s time for an audit.
A new report from Statistics Canada releases some shocking figures about incidents of physical and sexual assault, mental health disorders, and more.
Lesbian, gay, and bisexual Canadians are nearly three times more likely than heterosexuals to experience sexual or physical assault, according to newly released data from Statistics Canada.
Among members of sexual minority groups — including LGB people and those who otherwise identify as nonheterosexual — 11 percent reported experiencing such an assault in the previous 12 months, compared to 4 percent of heterosexuals, the report states. The survey was taken in 2018 and the report released Wednesday.
Two youths have been charged in the alleged assault on a transgender girl.
Police in Moose Jaw say charges have been laid after investigation into what an LGBTQ advocate says was a “horrific” assault against a transgender youth that was captured on a video widely shared via social media.
The Moose Jaw Police Service confirmed in a statement Thursday that it received a report regarding violence toward a member of the LGBTQ community that happened in the early morning hours of Aug. 27, near Westmount School in the Saskatchewan city.