Schools surveyed on homophobic harassment - InfoNews

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Schools surveyed on homophobic harassment

September 24, 2013 - 4:42 PM

KAMLOOPS – Principals, parent advisory councils, CUPE, the local teachers' association and a group of secondary students have all been invited to take part in a survey centered around whether an anti-homophobic harassment policy is needed in the district.

The Kamloops Thompson Teachers Association asked School District 73 to consider a policy specific to homophobic harassment this past spring. While initial feedback from the board was that a policy wasn't needed they did decide to send the issue to a committee for consideration.

District trustee Gerald Watson says the committee had their first policy meeting shortly after school began earlier this month. Last week a survey was sent out to multiple groups asking for feedback on harassment both in general terms and specific to sexual orientation.

“Our approach to it is institutional, we have a policy, a stakeholder group has told us it is inadequate. Depending on what comes back will determine our next move,” Watson says.

The committee has given a deadline of Oct. 31 and Watson expects by the first week of November they will have a feel for the overall responses.

“If we get a resounding silence then the policy is covering everything. If there's radical chaos... we'll approach differently,” Watson says. “(Our next move) is entirely driven by what comes back.”

Once the information from the survey has been compiled the board will decide if a new policy is required. The results are expected in January. While other districts have had public hearings Watson says one has not been planned for SD73.

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To contact a reporter for this story, email, call (250)819-3723 or tweet @JennStahn.

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