Schools and Other Educational Institutions
The rights of LGBT students and staff in an educational institution vary considerably depending on whether the institution is religious and/or open to the public, since human rights acts do not prohibit discrimination against pupils of private schools and the Charter does not prohibit discrimination by churches, associations and businesses, while section 2 of the Charter protects freedom of religion and section 93 of the Constitution recognizes the right to denominational schools in certain cases.
The curriculum of public schools, particularly in British Columbia, are now being amended to incorporate LGBT topics.
Religious educational institutions may in many cases discriminate based on sexual orientation against students and staff according to religious doctrine. Nevertheless, if they rent facilities to the general public on a commercial basis without regard to their religion, they may not refuse to rent them to LGBT groups
However, most educational institutions, including privately-owned schools open to the general public, are public services. They are subject to human rights acts and are strictly required to not discriminate against staff or students based on all the prohibited grounds, including sexual orientation, HIV/AIDS (and transsexuality and transgenderism, see Grounds of prohibited discrimination above). They are strictly liable for harassment, name-calling and bullying of students and staff by staff on these grounds. In addition, as a result of the Jubran decision, they are liable for most such behaviour by students. They may be liable for anti-gay bullying even if the victim is not gay, nor believed to be (e.g. when a bully knowingly makes a false claim that a girl is a lesbian so that she will be ostracized or bullied by others or pressured to have sex with a boy to prove otherwise).
Furthermore, it may not be enough for schools to progressively discipline bullies when this is ineffective. Schools are responsible for providing an educational environment that is free from discriminatory harassment, and this may require them to provide "resources to adopt a broader, educative approach to deal with the difficult issues of harassment, homophobia and discrimination." The Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear an appeal from the Jubran decision, thus adding to its authoritativeness.
Public education governance bodies may place limits on the freedom of expression and the freedom of religion rights of teachers and school counsellors with respect to statements they may make regarding LGBT issues, both on and off the job. Teachers and school counsellors are considered to hold positions of trust and influence over young people and are required to ensure that their public statements do not impair public confidence in the school system or create an unwelcoming or intolerant school environment.
There are no legal exceptions that limit the rights of LGBT students specifically, except that the Yukon Human Rights Act defines sexual orientation in a way that excludes minors from protection. The constitutionality of this wording is dubious (see discussion above).
As of 2006, few schools in Canada have implemented the Jubran requirements, and anti-gay bullying and name-calling by students. The rate of suicide and depression among LGBT youths is higher than non-LGBT students and so to counter homophobia and bullying in school and to provide support to LGBT students, students in some schools have set up gay–straight alliances or similar groups, sometimes with support from teachers associations.
Read more about this topic: LGBT Rights In Canada
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Famous quotes containing the words schools and, institutions, schools and/or educational:
“If the women of the United States, with their free schools and all their enlarged liberties, are not superior to women brought up under monarchical forms of government, then there is no good in liberty.”
—Anna Howard Shaw (18471919)
“We as a nation need to be reeducated about the necessary and sufficient conditions for making human beings human. We need to be reeducated not as parentsbut as workers, neighbors, and friends; and as members of the organizations, committees, boardsand, especially, the informal networks that control our social institutions and thereby determine the conditions of life for our families and their children.”
—Urie Bronfenbrenner (b. 1917)
“Our good schools today are much better than the best schools of yesterday. When I was your age and a pupil in school, our teachers were our enemies.
Can any thing ... be more painful to a friendly mind, than a necessity of communicating disagreeable intelligence? Indeed it is sometimes difficult to determine, whether the relator or the receiver of evil tidings is most to be pitied.”
—Frances Burney (17521840)
“The educational system in large countries will always be utterly mediocre, for the same reason that the cooking in large kitchens is mediocre at best.”
—Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900)