Celebrating Diversity

Burnaby Schools celebrate diversity. We are proud to be a leader in creating inclusive, welcoming environments in our schools. We strive to provide engaging learning opportunities to inspire each child to reach their potential. We want all students to flourish and we have policies that support inclusivity.

Our Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity policy (SOGI) is one such policy. It has been in place since June 2011. The Burnaby Board of Education built the policy through a collaborative process, including reaching out to the public and other stakeholders for input.

It’s our job to ensure Burnaby Schools are friendly and safe learning environments, and the SOGI policy is a part of that. The District follows the curriculum for each grade level provided by the BC Ministry of Education. Students experience lessons that promote understanding of the diverse society in which we live, and they learn to treat each other with dignity and respect, regardless of our differences.

Read Understanding SOGI Policy and See the Link to Frequently Asked Questions About SOGI in Burnaby Schools

Our schools reflect the increasingly global nature of the Burnaby community. Learning first-hand about other perspectives provides students with deeper connections to the world around them.

Read the Commentary in The Georgia Straight by our then Burnaby Board of Education Chair, Gary Wong.

We have a number of events and activities in our schools to honour and celebrate diversity such as:

Pink Shirt Day
Many Burnaby Schools participate in Pink Shirt Day activities. It is one of several initiatives that teach about kindness and respect for others – attributes that help to build a sense of belonging. We value kindness every day of the year.

Rainbow Crosswalks
There are several rainbow crosswalks greeting students at our secondary schools, and the first elementary crosswalk was added in May of 2020. They serve as powerful symbols of our commitment to celebrating diversity.

Diversity Dance 
The District’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Committee hosts a “Diversity Dance” for high school students. In the spirit of celebrating diversity and inclusivity, the dance is for all students.

The International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHAT) was created in 2004 to draw attention to violence and discrimination experienced by members of the LGBTQ+ community. Throughout the world, the day acknowledges the dangers faced by people who have diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, or gender expression. We recognize this day in Burnaby Schools each year at a student event with keynote speakers.

Read More

Bridging Understanding and Celebrating Diversity – May 2024
Fostering a Culture of Inclusion and KindnessFebruary 2024
Letter: Respectful treatment is non-negotiable
– Burnaby Now, June 2023
Celebrating With Pride in Who You Are – June 2023
Sharing Culture and Celebrating Expressions of Who We Are – March 2023
Burnaby students take a stand against bullying for Pink Shirt Day – Burnaby Now, February 2023
Pink Shirt Day: Learning and Action – February 2023
Schools Raise Pride Flag for the First Time – June 2022
Pride Flag Raised in Advance of IDAHAT Celebration – May 2022
Burnaby school board flies Pride flag for the first time – Burnaby Now, May 2022
Pink Shirt Day: Lifting Each Other Up – February 2022
Students Celebrate World Kindness Day – November 2021
Bhangra for Kindness – Burnaby Beacon, November 2021
We’ve Got Pride – June 2021
Virtual Event Supports LGBTQ+ Community – May 2021
Two More Burnaby Elementary Schools Get Rainbow Crosswalks – Burnaby Now, May 2021
Burnaby School Board Votes to Fly Pride Flag at Headquarters – Burnaby Now, May 2021
Pink Shirt Day in Burnaby Schools – February 2021
Burnaby Students and Seniors Team Up for Pink Shirt Day Message – Burnaby Now, February 2021
Burnaby School District One High School Away From a Rainbow Flush – Burnaby Now, October 2020
Annual breakfast for Burnaby LGBTQ students goes virtual – Burnaby Now, May 2020
Supporting LGBTQ+ Community: Annual Event Reimagined – May 2020
Burnaby School District Installs First Elementary School Rainbow Walkway – Burnaby Now, May 2020
Pink Shirt Day in Burnaby Schools & in the Community – February 2020
Diversity Dance – February 2020
University Highlands to Get Burnaby’s First Elementary School Rainbow Crosswalk – Burnaby Now, September 2019
$350K SOGI Funding Announcement Made in Burnaby – Burnaby Now, September 2019
Behind the Scenes at the Vancouver Pride Parade – Georgia Straight, August 2019
Class Act: Burnaby Schools Get Two More Rainbow Crosswalk (and More News) – Burnaby Now, April 2019
Beyond the Pink: Celebrating Diversity and Kindness in Burnaby Schools – February 2019
Pink Shirt Day Targets Cyber Bullying: Burnaby Schools Flash Mob at Lougheed Town Centre – Global News, February 2019
Gary Wong: Pink Shirt Day—What Kids in Pink and a Rainbow Can Show Adult Politicians – The Georgia Straight, February 2019
Burnaby School District Dance for LGBTQ Youth and Allies Now Open to New West Students – Burnaby Now, February 2019
The Best Burnaby Letter to the Editor of 2018 was Written by a Teenager – Burnaby Now, December 2018
Seaforth Elementary’s Kindness Patrol on World Kindness Day – CTV News, November 2018
Burnaby School Joins Youth Patrol Spreading Random Acts of Kindness – Burnaby Now, November 2018
Rainbow Crosswalk to Greet Returning Burnaby Students – Burnaby Now, August 2018