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City View students meet with Mayor ahead of Day of Pink

City View students meet with Mayor ahead of Day of Pink

Tuesday, April 05, 2016
Categories: Great Things, Happenings @ TDSB, School Web Stories

Students from City View Alternative School’s Queer Straight Alliance met with Toronto Mayor John Tory on March 26, in preparation for the International Day of Pink on April 13. Over the 45-minute meeting in the Mayor's office, the students discussed the importance of City staff providing empowering spaces for trans and gender non-conforming young people.

“One of the things we’d like to see is people who know how to use pronouns correctly, and who know the legal requirements for our public programs when it comes to gender expression and gender identity,” said one of the students, Nick W.

“We’d also like to see City buildings with more all-gender washrooms, which is now a requirement of the Ontario Human Rights Code” said student Odessa H.

Classmate Clarice F asked the Mayor to consider the gap in recreation programming for gender non-conforming kids in the middle years. “Right now, kids between the ages of 7 and 13 have only ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ programs available to them.” 

Mayor Tory was very receptive to the student representatives and acknowledged the importance of City staff taking a leadership role.  Later in May, he will be hosting his first ever Leadership Breakfast for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and City View students have been invited.

“City View students are well positioned to be doing this advocacy,” said principal Sheena Matheson. “Our Queer Straight Alliance has been providing frontline training to students, staff and principals from around the province, most recently delivering workshops about all-gender washrooms to 250 students at Annette Street PS. These young people are knowledgeable, articulate, and care deeply about human rights.” 

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