Seems like the Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) and a California
teacher have something in common. A complaint submitted to the Perris Union High School District included an allegation of a teacher calling a lesbian student a “sinner."
Not content with name calling, the teacher wrote an S on the student’s hand. Other allegations filed by students and
teachers from Paloma Valley High School in Menifee, California, included one from a
student who claimed he was barred from taking part in an activity in honour of gay
history month and another from a student who was punished for complaining that he had been
harassed for being gay.
The school does have anti-bullying policies in place — like Catholic schools in Ontario — but without changing the culture of the
school, the policies fall by the wayside. After the first wave of harassment at the school, Paloma Valley teachers and students set up a gay-straight alliance (GSA) to
support the youth. Maybe Catholic school boards in Ontario could learn
something from this.
Xtra has been writing about the HCDSB and its veto against GSAs. In pursuing that story it has become clear that Catholic boards across the province take their orders from the Assembly of Catholic Bishops, which ostensibly is anti-bullying but will not allow GSAs.
What is it going to take for the Catholic school boards to wake up?