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Pride Week Celebration


Source: By Helen Victoros, TDSB in Tools for Equity: A Resource for Best Practices. (2006). TDSB.

Time: 3 X 70 minutes

Rationale

Pride celebrations have been held annually around the world at the end of June for the past 30 years as an act of celebration, as well as an act of resistance against discrimination and oppression. By participating in and organizing events to celebrate Pride, and addressing and taking action against homophobia, our schools are safer and more inclusive spaces for all staff and students.

Description

Students prepare, from a suggested list of activities, to organize and participate with local communities leading up to and during Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Two-Spirited Pride Week.

Teaching/ Learning Strategies

  1. Form an organizing committee soon after the winter break. Try to include representatives from the following groups: students, student government; teachers from different divisions/grades/subject areas; administration; parents/guardians/parent council.
  2. Decide on a regular meeting time and location at your first meeting.
  3. Brainstorm a list of all the possible activities that could take place in individual classrooms and a school-wide scale with the community. Also brainstorm at an early meeting why it is important to organize such a celebration at your school, and how you will respond to some of the arguments against having such a celebration from other staff, students, and/or parents/guardians. A good starting point is to find common ground and link discussion to human rights and respect for all. For this discussion, have copies of your school’s/school board’s/Ministry’s equity and human rights documents on hand. 
  4. Before moving much further, it will be important to obtain staff feedback about who will be participating in the Pride celebration (e.g. individual teachers, specific grades, or the entire school). A suggestion would be to write up a proposal that would include: reasons to hold a Pride celebration, the brainstormed list of possible classroom and school-wide activities, supports needed, and a suggestion of time frame (e.g. will this be a one day affair, or activities and celebrations spanning several days?).  This proposal could be taken and presented at the next staff meeting. Note: it is important to ensure administrative support for the ideas being proposed prior to the staff meeting.
  5. When the size and scope of your Pride celebration has been determined, contact can be initiated with any community-based organizations that you may want to involve. See the list of these below.

Suggestions for activities in the classroom

  • Book readings
  • Dramatizations and/or role plays (Guidelines for role playing must be discussed)
  • Creation of information posters or games
  • Creation of Pride week posters, murals, signs, and symbols
  • Study of the history of LGBT Pride
  • Workshop/ speaker
  • Morning announcements about interesting facts related to Pride, the LGBT community, and famous LGBT individuals

Suggestions for activities in the school with the community

  • Assembly
  • Speakers panel
  • School Pride parade
  • Public visual image display to which parents, LGBT community members and organizations, and board representatives could be invited
  • Float for participation in Toronto’s annual Pride Parade
  • Starting a gay/straight alliance club

Toronto District School Board Resources

  • TDSB Equity Department Instructional Leaders
  • TDSB Human Sexuality Program
  • TBSD Equity Foundation Statement
  • Rainbows and Triangles: A Curriculum Document for Challenging Homophobia and Heterosexism in the K-6 Classroom (2003)
  • Anti-Homophobia Education Resource Guide (2006)

Resources can be found at Equitable Schools <www.tdsb.on.ca/>

 

Community Resources

519 Church Street Community Centre. <www.the519.org>
Toronto, ON M4Y 2C9
Tel: 416-392-6874

BC Teachers Federation. <www.bctf.bc.ca>
100-550 West 6th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4P2
Tel: 604-871-2283
Resource: EGALE: <www.egale.ca>

COLAGE. <www.colage.org>
Sandi Parker and Steve Soloman
Tel: 416-985-3749

Education Wife Assault. <www.womanabuseprevention.com/html/same-sex_partner_abuse.html>
Resource: Creating Safer Schools for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Youth: A Resource for Educators (2002)

Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario. <www.etfo.ca>
480 University Avenue, Suite 1000
Toronto, ON M5G 1V2
Tel: 416-962-3836

Resources: Equity and Women’s Services Department; Responding to Homophobia and Heterosexism (2002); We’re Erasing Prejudice for Good (2002); Challenging Homophobia and Heterosexism (2003); Imagine a World that’s Free from Fear: A Kindergarten to Grade 8 Resource Addressing Issues Relating to Homophobia and Heterosexism (2004).

Elementary Teachers of Toronto. <www.ett.on.ca>
4211 Yonge St., Suite 300
Toronto, ON   M2P 2A9
Tel: 416-393-9930

Resources: Human Rights Committee; Rainbows and Triangles: A Curriculum Document for Challenging Homophobia and Heterosexism in the K-6 Classroom (2003).

Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation. <www.osstf.on.ca>.
60 Mobile Drive
Toronto, ON   M4A 2P3
Tel: 416-751-8300

Resource: Human Rights Committee

PFLAG, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. <www.pflagcanada.ca/chapters/Toronto/html/home.htm> and <www.pflagcanada.ca>.
115 Simpson Avenue, Suite 105
Toronto, ON   M4K 1A1
Tel: 416-406-1727

Pride Toronto. <www.pridetoronto.com>
65 Wellesley Street East, Suite 501
Toronto, ON   M4Y1G7
Tel: 416-927-7433

Supporting Our Youth. <www.soytoronto.org>  and <soy@sherbourne.on.ca>
365 Bloor Street East, Suite 301
Toronto, ON   M4W 3L4
Tel: 416-324-5077

TEACH, A Program of Planned Parenthood of Toronto. <www.teachtoronto.ca> and <http://teach@ppt.on.ca>.
36B Prince Arthur Avenue
Toronto, ON   M5R 1A9
Tel: 416-961-0113, ext. 230

Resource: Hear Me Out: True Stories of Teens Educating and Confronting Homophobia. Toronto: Second Story Press, 2004.

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