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. For additional background and frequently asked questions about SOGI.
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 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.
We now have 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. Read the Burnaby Now story.
The District’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Committee hosts a “Diversity Dance” for high school students each year. In the spirit of celebrating diversity and inclusivity, the dance is for all students. Read the Burnaby Now story.
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 breakfast with a keynote speaker. In 2020, due to COVID-19, a virtual event was held. Learn more and watch the video. Read the Burnaby Now story.