Accepting students’ sexual orientation

Superintendant Larry Jacobs and Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) are creating a Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity administration

Superintendant Larry Jacobs and Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) are creating a Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity administration procedure for the division.

Jacobs says it’s something happening not only in WCPS but across the province, and the procedure isn’t just a school idea but something whole communities are supporting.

“We have to be very accepting of students’ sexual orientation…Especially from schools,” said Jacobs.

He feels schools should be a bully- and abuse-free environment and wants the procedure to consider those behaviors.

“These people have the right to their sexual orientation,” said Jacobs. He believes students’ sexuality must not only be tolerated but also openly supported.

Late last year outrage and controversy surrounded Pembina Hills Regional School Division trustee Dale Schaffrick after he made remarks at Alberta School Board Association’s fall meeting that gay students should be less open about their sexuality.

He later apologized for his comments.

“I think there’s an urgency throughout society,” said Jacobs. He knows cyber bullying and social media have made it easier for bullies to harass others from a more protected and anonymous environment.

Jacobs referred to British Columbia teen Amanda Todd who committed suicide late last year after being sexually harassed, bullied and abused for many years.

He says kids will bully each other and sexual orientation is an easy opening. This is what he wants to protect the students from.

“I look around to see how other people are building it (the procedure).” Jacobs is also looking to the minister of education and his own board’s feelings on the matter.

He hopes to have the policy created by June in time for the new school year but it may take until the fall to be completed.