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Supports for students, staff and members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community

Good afternoon,

On Wednesday September 20, 2023, demonstrations were held by groups protesting “gender ideology” in schools. 

Here at the Upper Grand District School Board  our priority is ensuring that our learning environments are inclusive and welcoming spaces. It is our policy to ensure safe and inclusive environments for all students, staff and the community, regardless of age, ancestry, colour, race, citizenship, ethnic origin, place of origin, creed, disability, family status, marital status, gender identity, gender expression, socio-economic status, employment, housing, sex, and sexual orientation. This is not only a requirement under the Human Rights Code, but also the right action to support Equity and Inclusion throughout the UGDSB.

The UGDSB stands in solidarity with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.  We will not tolerate hate directed at the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and other oppressed groups.

The UGDSB is committed to naming and addressing homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, forms of hate and systemic oppression.  The UGDSB supports 2SLGBTQIA+ staff, students and their families by celebrating the joy of identity and centering 2SLGBTQIA+ histories, contributions and excellence in our learning and work communities on an everyday basis. Current initiatives include GSAs and student and staff affinity groups, staff and student gender affirming support processes, inclusive forms and  policies to support the honouring of chosen names and pronouns, All-gender washrooms, training for employees, Pride flags, and learning and celebration of diversity. 

As a workplace, we are addressing equitable hiring practices through voluntary self-identification questions to purposefully attract and retain gender diverse staff through all levels and areas of employment. We also have mandatory and voluntary training provided to all staff to support increasing awareness, providing education and ensuring staff understand their role and responsibility in supporting equity and creating welcoming learning and working environments throughout the UGDSB. 

We want to condemn any non-peaceful, violent or aggressive actions of some of the protesters witnessed on UGDSB grounds today.  We will not tolerate this behaviour, or any behaviour meant to intimidate our students, staff and school communities. 

We recognize that many UGDSB students, staff and community may be affected by the September 20 demonstrations. Students are encouraged to reach out to a trusted adult in their school. Students and parents/guardians who experience identity-based harm can report this through the online tool on the UGDSB website: Staff are encouraged to contact their supervisor or the board’s Employee and Family Assistance Program. 

Other available community resources include:

Finally, we want to thank all of those in our school communities who showed their support today and stood in solidarity with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Hate has no  place here at the UGDSB.


Ralf Mesenbrink
Chair of the Board

Peter Sovran
Director of Education

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