Friday, January 27, 2012

Newfoundland and Labrador Takes On the Bullies

I must admit that I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Maybe it's because when I was a boy I lived by the sea. On a coastline dotted with small fishing villages that were once so busy and then so still. Maybe it's because they were poor and other people made fun of them. Or maybe it's just because they are some of the warmest, friendliest, funniest people I have ever met.

But I like them even more.

Newfoundland and Labrador's education department is set to announce plans to help schools across the province create safe, welcoming environments for gay students.

For standing up for bullied children, and sending out such a powerful message.

"While we are not mandating that schools establish gay-straight alliances, we are certainly encouraging it. This resource will assist schools to do so, if they wish. That said, I want to be clear that the protection and support of students of different sexual orientations is not negotiable..."

At a time when some school boards in Ontario are still sending out a different message.

The message is we still don’t truly acknowledge that you exist or that you need support,” she said. “This kind of move just reinforces isolation and that is the key concern of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) youth.”

And can't seem to take NO BIGOTRY for an answer.

Hooray for the government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Tell those religious fanatics in Ontario to take a hike eh?

Long live the Gay-Straight Alliance...


ThinkingManNeil said...

Good for them! Frankly, I find this a little surprising, Simon, because when I attended bible college many years ago we had a very large contingent of students from Nfld & Labrador as the Pentecostal church was particularly strong there. Good to see some of our fellow citizens have the courage to stand up to mindless bigotry.

Anonymous said...

That photo makes me want to retire there even more now.

sassy said...

GAY-STRAIGHT ALLIANCE. Queer choice of words. An Ontario Catholic school student responds to the name her school board has decided she'll have to use for her anti-homophobia club.

CBC's As it happens interviewed the student. Interview begins at 0:755.
Their school, their rules, time to DEfund Catholic schools.

sassy said...

whoops - that time should be 07:55

Simon said...

hi ThinkingManNeil...yes I was a bit surprised too just because the influence of the Catholic Church was once so strong. But then they did take their schools out from under the thumb of that church, so I should have known their down to earth decency would overcome that...

Simon said...

hi Way Way Up...well you may have company, because although I've only been there once, I was stunned by its beauty. And I would love to live by the sea again...

Simon said...

hi sassy...thanks for the link. Leanne is one of my heroes. In fact I think I'm in love with her. ;)
But as for those wretched bigoted school boards yes,let's defund them as soon as possible. I was willing to give them some time to adapt to the 21st Century, but this sinister farce has gone on for far too long.

P.S. you do find the most wonderful things... :)