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Celebrating Pride in the UGDSB

To see how we are celebrating Pride, check out the UGDSB’s Pride Month 2020 website! (2021 content will be added soon!)

Flying the Pride Flag

What is the Pride flag?

The current Pride flag’s exact colours and dimensions have changed from the Gilbert Baker flag, which first appeared as a representation of the LGBTQ+ community in 1977.  The Rainbow flag is strongly connected to the LGBTQ+ community, it also is a representation of social change cited as being a symbol of hope and peace. 

2SLGBTQIA+ stands for Two Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex and Asexual, while + stands for other ways folks express their gender and sexuality outside heteronormativity and the gender binary. There are specific flags and flag variations for many identities within the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

Pride Flag

Why is my child’s school flying the Pride flag?

The month of June is Pride month. Many of our students, staff, parents/guardians and community members identify as members of the Rainbow or 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Flying the Pride flag not only signals that our schools are safe spaces for everyone, it also aligns with our Vision Statement and Guiding Principles of inclusion and student and staff well-being and our new Equity Plan.

Our school district is committed to supporting and celebrating the 2SLGBTQIA+ community throughout the year. During Pride Month specifically, it is the expectation that schools and offices across the UGDSB raise the Pride Flag to show our support and acceptance and to celebrate the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

We continue to raise awareness and support inclusion and acceptance of other marginalized groups in other ways.

Some examples include supporting staff affinity/identity groups, centering feedback and voice provided from student groups including Black Chapter/Black Student Unions, Equity Committees and Muslim Student Associations, our Poverty Challenge initiative aimed at increasing awareness of socio-economic disadvantage, the One Voice One Team initiative aimed at creating community for racialized students, supporting persons with disabilities by making our schools more accessible, acknowledging the original people of these lands, and committing to ensure that Indigenous staff and students are not deprived of their rights. We continue to work to ensure the equity and inclusion of all our students and staff.

UGDSB Vision Statement

Students will attain individual excellence through dynamic programming provided by an effective staff and supported by a committed community. We will meet our students’ diverse needs through the provision of equitable and accessible resources. Our learning environment will be characterized by empowered administrators, effective communication and mutual compassionate respect.

Guiding Principles

We believe that:

What if the flying of the Pride flag is against my personal values and beliefs?

We believe that our schools are safe spaces for everyone. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Additionally, regardless of your personal values and beliefs, we all must follow the Ontario Human Rights Code that protects marginalized groups from discrimination and harassment. We are flying the Pride flag to demonstrate our commitment to our community that discrimination and harassment of any kind will not be tolerated in our board.

What are the rules around flying flags in the UGDSB?

The UGDSB has specific procedures that all schools must follow to request permission to fly a flag (in addition to the Canadian flag) outside of the school. These procedures are outlined in Policy 310 – Display of Flags.

UGDSB Policy 310 – Display of Flags allows for the display of other flags under specific parameters. The information below and available at the following link explains the policy and processes related to the flying of flags in our board.

Policy Statement

It is the policy of the Upper Grand District School Board to display flags with dignity and respect. This policy is aligned with and supports the principles and expectations of the Board’s policies for Safe Schools (503) and Equity and Inclusive Education (504). At all times, this policy shall be consistent with all UGDSB policies and the Ontario Human Rights Code.