Gay-straight alliances (GSAs) and queer-straight alliances (QSAs) are peer support networks run by students and supported by school staff and would be grounded in the principles of promoting:
- equity for sexual and gender minority students
- safe, caring and inclusive spaces for all students
- healthy, respectful environments and relationships to prevent or eliminate bullying and discrimination
As peer support networks, GSAs/QSAs help LGBTQ students overcome feelings of isolation and alienation that are a result of homophobic and transphobic bullying. They empower students as they develop a sense of belonging in their school. GSAs/QSAs also help interested students become allies for their LGBTQ peers and provide a safe place to help understand and learn how to offer support.
- Open to all students
- Monthly meetings
- Lead teacher: Sonia Hiebert
What do we do in the school?
Anti-bullying Cupcake Campaign
QSA bulletin board across for the office
Safe space stickers around the school
Food, music videos, Youtube clips
Flags representing our QSA and the identities of students in our group
An Act to Support Gay-Straight Alliances, formerly Bill 24 came into effect on December 15, 2017. It strengthens the School Act by:
- Requiring school authorities to create welcoming, caring and respectful policies and make them publicly available by June 30, 2018;
- Strengthening the Minister of Education's ability to ensure that every school authority complies with the law;
- Clarifying that parental notification around courses of study, educational programs or instructional materials does not apply to student organizations or activities, including a GSAs and QSAs;
- Protecting the establishment of GSAs and QSAs to ensure this is done at the school-level like other student organizations;
- Ensuring that students are allowed to name a student organization a GSA or QSA; and
- Ensuring principals help students create a GSA or QSA in a timely manner.
Experiencing crisis or distress?
Bullying Helpline: 1-888-456-2323
Family Violence Info Line: 310-1818
Mental Health Helpline: 1-877-303-2642
*all of these phone lines run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week