09 Mar Province Providing Support for LGBTQ2+ Students
Nova Scotia is taking action to make schools safer for LGBTQ2+ students.
Over three years, government is investing $750,000 into the Youth Project, an advocacy group dedicated to creating safe, inclusive, and welcoming environments for LGBTQ2+ students in Nova Scotia. The money will be put towards programs, training, and workshops for staff, teachers, and students.
The Youth Project provided over 13,000 students and staff with workshops over the 2017-18 school year, in addition to providing feedback for the schools curriculum and resource development. These initiatives also serve to provide schools with important feedback on their curriculums and resource development.
“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.”
“The Youth Project has changed my life and my school’s culture in ways I am grateful for every day”
“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.”
Providing students with a safe environment also improves their performance in class. Inclusive learning environments have proven to be an essential part of increasing youth engagement and success in school, allowing students to feel validated, affirmed, and secure enough to learn effectively.
“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/ .