U of A researcher speaks about homophobic bullying to YK 1 parents, students
Yellowknife, N.W.T. - A researcher from the University of Alberta was the guest of honour for a presentation hosted by Yellowknife Education District Number 1 earlier this month.
Doctor Kristopher Wells spoke to parents and students about homophobic bullying in schools at William McDonald School and his appearance was due in part to an earlier presentation in Edmonton last year.
YK 1's vice-chair John Stephenson said Wells' presentation focused on the stigma of gay slurs in schools.
“It’s a long standing issue in our society and in our schools,” he said. “(Wells) has an excellent and well-informed presentation he gives to groups.”
Stephenson said it's not something which is a huge problem to the board's knowledge, but it's all about taking a pro-active approach.
“We use language such as ‘It’s so gay’ as something which is very normal to say, but for a person who would identify with that group, that creates an atmosphere of a lack of safety for them to be identified with that gender minority group,” he said.
Wells also met with principals from some of YK 1's schools and Stephenson said they would like to have him return at some point, but that decision won’t be made until after the next round of board elections later this year.
The presentation was also sponsored by the NWT Human Rights Commission.
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