As part of our commitment to equity and inclusion, Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) promotes Positive Space as one of many opportunities for system learning under the umbrella of Ontario’s Equity and Inclusive Education strategy. There are students, staff, and parents/guardians in our school communities who identify as two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual plus (2SLGBTQIA+). The goal of Positive Space has always been to create and identify safer and more inclusive spaces for 2SLGBTQIA+ communities within TLDSB. Our Positive Space plaques continue to hang prominently in our schools and offices to make it clear that the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and their allies are welcomed, and feel safe, included, and respected in our Board.
Everyone is protected from harassment based on gender identity and expression: The Human Rights Code protects an individual’s right to live their own gender identity. Transgender people are to be recognized and respected as the gender they live in. As a publicly funded school board, it is a shared responsibility with our school community to welcome and accommodate the needs of transgender people.
Everyone has a right to privacy: TLDSB buildings provide an easily accessible, all-gender, single-use washroom/change room for use by anyone who desires increased privacy, regardless of the underlying reason. School boards have the responsibility to treat everyone’s personal information as confidential. Parents and students are welcome to speak with their school principal for any required support.
In TLDSB, everyone is supported in safe and accepting schools: Education, including supportive and affirming language for discussing gender identity and expression, will be shared in classrooms and with school communities. Schools work in cooperation with students (and their family) to develop a plan that will meet their needs. The school will work to provide appropriate accommodations.
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TLDSB believes in safe and caring school communities. It is important that all students, including our youngest students, learn to respect differences. Students and staff need to see themselves reflected in the language used in classrooms and in the school. Positive Space is only one component of the Equity and Inclusive Education strategy. Since 2009, TLDSB has been working on a number of inclusive education initiatives including religious accommodation, Indigenous rights, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status, to promote a safe and caring school climate for all.
The wording in the Positive Space plaque does include all members of the school community – family, friends, and allies. Positive Space is one of many initiatives the school board is implementing to promote a safe and caring school climate for all. This includes providing ongoing training and resources in character development, Indigenous rights, religious accommodation, and accessibility rights.