A new national SARAVYC survey headed by The University of Winnipeg’s Dr. Catherine Taylor finds that most Canadian school administrators want to offer specific supports to enhance the safety and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Two Spirit, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) students.
The study surveyed 141 Canadian school districts, including rural, urban, regional; French, English; and secular, Catholic divisions representing approximately 48% of Canada’s schools and 50% of Canada’s teachers. The National Inventory is one of the major research areas funded by a $2 million grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research headed by Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc at the University of British Columbia.
Virtually all national, provincial and territorial school system organizations endorsed the study and the response rate from school districts was strong at 36%. “This suggests that the time has come to end the official and unofficial ‘don’t say the word gay’ rule that still exists in many schools and introduce specific supports to ensure the wellbeing of LGBTQ youth,” Dr. Taylor says of the report.
Dr. Saewyc notes, “This study provides an important picture of the different ways school districts across Canada support LGBTQ students. It’s a key step to identifying what works to improve school experiences and reduce health disparities for LGBTQ youth.” The main purpose of the National Inventory was to develop a more detailed picture of how school systems are acting to support LGBTQ students across the country.
A French version of the report will be released in a few weeks.