The Saskatchewan School Board Association’s building, located in downtown Regina, was vandalized with a hateful message toward the LGBTQ2 community.
“Str8 Power”, pronounced as “Straight Power”, was spray-painted in red on the SSBA’s moniker. It’s unknown when the graffiti first appeared, but members of the public noticed the graffiti Friday.
“We’re saddened by it and disappointed by it, but we know it doesn’t speak for the majority of the community,” said Jacq Brasseur, executive director of UR Pride Centre.
They added that anti-LGBTQ2 graffiti can frighten members of the community whether it’s intended to or not.
“It makes queer kids scared of how they’re going to be supported in their schools,” Brasseur said.
In October 2019, the Regina Public School Board rejected a motion by trustee Aleana Young that would have allowed all Regina Public Schools to celebrate Pride Week and Pride events at school.
It was defeated after trustees felt the motion would force schools to participate in Pride celebrations and a rainbow flag ceremony every June.
Since the motion was defeated, UR Pride has been supporting Regina Public Schools through a Pride Motion Toolkit to be used by GSAs and QSAs to advocate for their celebration of Pride in schools.
LGBTQ2 students continue to face many barriers in school systems across Canada despite a willingness from teachers and educators who show their support for LGBTQ2 education.
“There a large number of LGBTQ children who experience harassment because of their perceived gender identity or gender expression,” Brasseur said.
“When we look at sort of some of the biggest barriers we face in the education system in Regina is that there are all these amazing teachers who are desperately trying to support all students in their classrooms and they’re unfortunately not always given the resources or the opportunity to do professional development that gives them the skills to actively and meaningfully support LGBTQ children in schools.”
Brasseur says the best way to counter the kind of ignored and hate that was sprayed on the SSBA building is through continuous education through a school’s curriculum.
“LGBTQ students have the right to feel safe and supported in their schools.”
Global News has reached out to the Regina Police Service and the SSBA for comment.
Those who experience bullying in school can access anonymously help through the Ministry of Education and SaskTel’s Speak Up Against Bullying program.
Additional LGBTQ2 resources can be found through UR PRide here.
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