GSAs are a necessity

I’d like to think that society has advanced far enough to the point where no comparisons can be made between Nazis and gays. Unfortunately, this is not the case for the Halton District Catholic School Board.

Last week, the Halton District Catholic School Board issued a ban on Gay-Straight Alliances in both elementary and secondary schools throughout Milton, Halton Hills, Burlington and Oakville.

Alice Anne LeMay, the HDCSB’s chair, justified the ban by stating, “we don’t have Nazi groups either.”

I wasn’t aware that creating Nazi alliances in Canadian high schools was even an option. I had absolutely no idea that there are as many confused, bullied and in-need-of-support Nazi youths out there as there are gays and lesbians. Thank you Ms. LeMay, it’s about time that someone addressed the severe lack of Nazi groups in today’s high schools, because everyone knows that these groups are highly in demand, right?

Gay people creating a group, on the other hand?

Sure, they are not without faults of their own. Sometimes their hair can be too perfectly coiffed, and their dance clubs can be a little seedy, but is that really reason enough for the school board to ban GSAs? For LeMay to even suggest putting gays and Nazis in the same category is wildly illogical, not to mention extremely offensive.

Four months ago, author and journalist Dan Savage created the “It Gets Better” campaign to inspire hope for youths faced with bullying and harassment. The campaign focused on LGBTQ teenagers, after several recent suicides occurred as a result of bullying based on sexual orientation. It’s ridiculous to think that with so much focus on the increasing number of gay teen suicides, that the board members would actually vote eight to one against the creation of GSAs.

The HDCSB was devious enough to make amendments to the “Equity and Inclusive Education” policy, a policy that all Ontario school boards have as of 2011. This policy encourages the creation of GSAs that will provide a place of support, and act as a method of dealing with discrimination. The HDCSB however, decided to change the policy for their school board before it was approved last November by excluding sections on gender or sexual orientation.

Where was the school board when the “It Gets Better” campaign was created? Were they completely ignoring it by burying their noses into bibles? Maybe, but for once I don’t believe that religion is entirely at fault here. Therefore this is not an attack on religion, but rather it’s a wake-up call for intolerant humans that can’t accept other human beings for who they are. The members of the HDCSB were busy burying their noses into ignorant, weak excuses.

I just hope the HDCSB realizes that ignoring the issue and using feeble excuses will not make this problem go away. While they have the authority to amend policies when necessary, we have the power in numbers to achieve what we want.

And what we want is equality for all and a GSA in every school.

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