The Education Centre and all school across the Limestone District School Board are recognizing Pride Month in KFL&A by flying the Intersex-Inclusive Progress Pride Flag for the month of June.
In addition to the 6 colors of the original Rainbow Flag, this flag includes five arrow-shaped lines acknowledging groups that have been historically left out of Pride events. The black and brown stripes represent members of the Black, Indigenous, and racialized 2SLGBTQ+ communities. The pink, light blue, and white stripes incorporate the colours of the Transgender Pride flag. The purple circle and yellow triangle represent the Intersex community.
Many students, staff, families, and community members identify as members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. We fly the Intersex-Inclusive Progress Pride flag, engage in inclusive programming, and hold events to demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that everyone not only sees themselves in Limestone but also feels a strong sense of belonging and connectedness.
This is consistent with the Ontario Human Rights Code which protects marginalized groups from discrimination and harassment. We want everyone who learns, works, or volunteers in our school board to feel safe and supported, valued, and seen.
Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect including our 2SLGBTQ+ community. 2SLGBTQ+ refers to Two Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning. The + refers to people who identify as Intersex, Asexual or an Ally.
Many of our secondary schools, and some of our elementary schools, have student-led groups to support gender and sexuality. These clubs are safe spaces for students, staff, and allies of the 2SLGBTQ+ community to come together and discuss issues they may be facing and topics that matter to them. These groups are places that our students feel comfortable being themselves and can have open and honest conversations with their peers.
There are gender-neutral washrooms in all of our schools and sites. The Board recently updated (fall 2020) a support document with definitions and explanations regarding terms and pronouns that students may prefer for themselves.
Our schools are committed to providing all our students with a positive school climate. We know that when students feel safe and supported in a healthy, accepting, and welcoming school climate, they have greater success. We want everyone to see themselves in Limestone.
The board is sharing a Pride Month Newsletter that provides information and resources to help us all grow in our understanding of how we can be allies in our community. Limestone will also be participating in area Pride Parades as a way to show we are committed to making a real difference in ensuring schools are an equitable, and inclusive learning spaces, where everyone feels safe, comfortable, and accepted.
The board is has confirmed with the Government of Canada’s flag protocol lead at Heritage Canada that where schools or education centres only have one mast/flagpole, it is acceptable to fly the Pride flag beneath the Canadian flag. Showing our support for 2SLGBTQ+ does not diminish our respect for our Nation’s flag.