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Pride flags, rainbow stickers and LGBTQ2+ posters were sent to all schools as part of a districtwide SOGI resource package. Pictured above is Morgan Elementary's display of their pride flag (thank you to Ms. Hurtubise for the photo).
Your school may be showing a little more pride, as schools across the district recently received SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) resource packages to highlight and foster LGBTQ2+ inclusivity.
In an effort to demonstrate the district's ongoing commitment to creating and maintaining safe, inclusive spaces, all elementary schools, secondary schools and learning centres received a pride flag, LGBTQ2+ posters and Surrey Schools rainbow stickers to display in halls and classrooms.
"These serve as visual cues for students, staff and families to know that they are welcome here," said Nicole Curtis, the district's inclusive practices helping teacher for SOGI and anti-racism. "We're really trying to make that well known in the schools and their communities. We want them to recognize this is a part of our community, a part of our culture, and we're making space for that."
Learning Resources Services suggested the pride resources, following up on a SOGI-themed bundle that saw picture books and novels sent to elementary and secondary schools a few years ago.
Kama Money, a teacher at the South Surrey/White Rock Learning Centre, said the package was a welcome surprise for her students, who immediately took to putting the stickers all over the school. (see her Instagram story post at right)
"We have quite a social justice crew in the afternoons so I gave them the package and it was like Christmas," she said. "Having an unexpected package of pride stickers and the flag was a real cause for celebration.
"The kids literally ran around putting up stickers at every single classroom, every doorway, including the entrance, so every student who walks in our school knows everybody's accepted."
Curtis said the response from other schools has also been great, noting that putting the stickers in classrooms gives LGBTQ2+ students a sense of safety and belonging with their teachers and among their peers.
"There's been so much positive response," she said. "I've had probably 30 schools email me saying, 'We'd like more stickers, we'd like more posters, we really like this idea' – there's been lots and lots of support from the schools.
"It's been great having something simple and tangible to do to make an inclusive space."
For more information on the district's SOGI efforts, visit the SOGI-Inclusive Education page. For additional SOGI resources, visit Surrey Schools ONE and search for digital resources with the SOGI filter.