BC: Making school safe for every child: Delta school district targets homophobia

Rachel Garrett

Even as the nation debated the Vancouver School Board’s new transgender policy last month, with critics arguing about pronouns beginning with the letter “x,” while purists fought for the traditional definition of gender assigned bathrooms, the ink had already been dry on a similar document created by the Delta School District for well over a year.

In fact, it was Delta’s “administrative procedure on sexual orientation and gender identity,” which came into effect near the end of the 2013 school year, that earned a South Delta Secondary student a $70,000 scholarship from TD Bank Group to attend the University of British Columbia.

Rachel Garrett, who graduated from Grade 12 this year, resurrected the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at her high school with the help of a friend while she was in Grade 10. There had been a club years ago but it had faded away as members left the school.

“We realized that was something that was really necessary in our school, to create support, because me and many of our friends were feeling really unsafe in the school as members of the LGBTQ [Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Questioning] community,” says Garrett…