Province Providing Support for LGBTQ2+ Students

Government and the Youth Project are teaming up to create safe, inclusive and welcoming school environments for LGBTQ2+ students across the province.

The three-year, $750,000 investment will support the Youth Project – an LGBTQ2+ advocacy group – to deliver programs, training and workshops for youth, teachers and staff.

“Every student should feel safe, valued and welcomed at school,” said Zach Churchill, minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. “The Youth Project have been providing excellent support to LGBTQ2+ students for a number of years and this funding will help them expand those positive and inclusive experiences to more LGBTQ2+ students in more schools across the province, particularly in rural areas.”

In 2017-18, the Youth Project provided workshops that reached more than 13,000 students and worked with teachers, so they are better able to support LGBTQ2+ students. The Youth Project has also provided feedback on school curriculum and resource development.

“Our work in schools aims to start a conversation around sexual orientation and gender identity, reduce stigma and normalize differences, while also ensuring LGBTQ2+ students are validated and see themselves reflected within the school environment and curriculum,” said Kate Shewan, executive director of the Youth Project. “We look forward to working together with government to improve the school experience for LGBTQ2+ students and are excited for the opportunity to expand our services and reach greater numbers of youth throughout the province.”

Safe and inclusive learning environments are essential to children and youth’s engagement and success in school. When they feel validated, affirmed and secure, their ability to learn is significantly enhanced.

“The Youth Project has changed my life and my school’s culture in ways I am grateful for every day,” said Hanley Smith, They/Them, Gay and Straight Alliance Leader, Citadel High. “The community educators came in to every class in my school to teach them about the LGBTQ2+ community, and really focused on transgender and non-binary identities.

“The way the kids in my school view people with they/them pronouns is completely new and has a new wave of respect and understanding. As a non-binary person this has made me feel safer in my school. Every school should have access to the Youth Project.”

For more information about The Youth Project, go to: https://youthproject.ns.ca/ .