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GSA club to receive nod

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The Robert Moore School GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) club will receive the Recognition of Excellence at the Rainy River District School Board’s regular meeting tonight.

A report to trustees notes a GSA club is a proven, evidence-based strategy that supports student health and wellness.

“We know that emotional well-being provides the foundation for academic achievement and, as such, we strive to provide all students with a safe, caring space that lets them be themselves, free from bias and/or discrimination, and supports them in their academic, social and emotional growth,” the report stated.

The club was initiated by students and has the full support of the school staff and school council.

It consists of a group of students from Grades 6-8, those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning, their allies, and three staff advisors.

The group “provides a safe place for students to meet and support each other while working together to end discrimination.”

It also “promotes equality for all and promotes a welcoming, caring, respectful, safe, and inclusive school environment.”

The Robert Moore School GSA planned a walk in support of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, made rainbow bracelets to raise awareness, watched and discussed student-made videos, participated in sharing circles, and accessed the Egale website as a means of initiating discussion.

It also has been instrumental in the posting of “Positive Space” signage.

Future plans for the group include helping organize activities for Pink Shirt Day in February, the Day of Pink and Day of Silence in April, and the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in May.

“Staff are excited to see caring and support from allies, an increase in student self-esteem, and overall improved student well-being,” the report said.

Also at tonight’s meeting, trustees will:

  • hear a presentation regarding technology supports;
  • look to approve the following policies: 4.60 (First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Student Voluntary Self-Identification) and 7.22 (emergency response);
  • look to approve the following policy for stakeholder consultation: 1.10 (board goals and commitments);
  • look to approve the 2015-16 Revised Estimates; and
  • receive the personnel report dated January, 2016.

The meeting gets underway at 7 p.m. at the board office.

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