The current curriculum in schools should include lessons about the LGBTQ+ community. This would cover information such as labels, rights, history, and homophobia/transphobia. Students being taught about the LGBTQ+ community would increase knowledge, acceptance, and help provide a safer environment for LGBTQ+ students.

Mr. Paul Gangnes, a counsellor at Riverside Secondary, says it’s important to have representation of all different types of people in education. “If people don’t feel like they’re represented in anything that they’re learning then they can feel invisible,” said Gangnes. Even if something as simple as a book with people in same-sex relationship is read in English class it can increase inclusivity.

SOGI is a good example of how courses can be more inclusive of LGBTQ+ people. “SOGI isn’t really a change to the curriculum, but it’s being a little more inclusive of the material that teachers deliver. It’s being a little more representative of people,” said Gangnes. Including LGBTQ+ lessons in schools wouldn’t be without challenge, however. Some people have a misunderstanding of what this would look like and the goals of it. It’s important to be educated and do research on these issues.

I think education is one of the most important things for making people more open-minded and understanding of others.
Mr. Paul Gangnes

Recently, Scotland became the first country to incorporate LGBTQ+ lessons in their school curriculum. Ministers accepted the recommendations of the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign. Schools will be required to teach these lessons which include the history of the LGBTQ+ community, tracking homophobia and transphobia, and exploring identities.

Gangnes says education has a large impact on people. “I think education is one of the most important things for making people more open-minded and understanding of others,” said Gangnes. “Sometimes people are scared of things they don’t understand, I think education will help lessen that. It will make them more comfortable with it.”

Including LGBTQ+ lessons in schools and increasing inclusivity of the community (course-wide) will encourage youth to be more informed of issues and can lead to self-discovery. Education on these topics is essential for acceptance of LGBTQ+ community on a large scale.

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