Celebrating Pride in the UGDSB
What is the Pride flag and why is my child’s school flying 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. Most recently, inclusive pride flags incorporate additional histories, identities and considerations such intersectionality**. Inclusive and progressive iterations of the Pride flag reflect contributors such as Monica Helms, Amber Hikes, and Daniel Quasar. Rainbow/Pride flags are strongly connected to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and are also representative 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.
Many UGDSB students, staff, parents/guardians and community members identify as members of the Rainbow or 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Specifically during Pride Month in June, all schools in the UGDSB raise the Pride Flag to show our support and acceptance and to celebrate the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Flying the Pride flag not only signals that our schools are committed to building safe spaces for everyone, it also aligns with our Vision Statement and Guiding Principles of Inclusion, Policy 503 and 504, the Ontario Human Rights Code, student and staff well-being and our UGDSB Equity Plan. In addition to Pride month, our school district is committed to supporting and celebrating the 2SLGBTQIA+ community throughout the whole year.
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:
- Student learning is our focus
- The learning process is open-ended
- Education is a community responsibility
- Embracing diversity contributes to community
- Teachers make a significant difference
- Leaders must focus on students
- Continuous professional development supports life-long learning
- A commitment to values guides activities
- A safe physical environment needs to be sustained
- A respectful learning environment fosters personal growth
- Opportunities and resources need to be equitably distributed
- Everyone should be treated with respect
What are the protocols for 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.
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.