/We see you

We see you

To the Editor,
Saturday the Ontario PC Party voted to advance a policy motion
suggesting that gender identity, gender expression, and transgender
rights were somehow political ideology, and that any discussion of such
should be removed from Ontario schools and the curriculum. As local
educators, we must express our dismay with the PC party’s attempt to
politicize its own transphobia. Transgendered persons are real. They
exist.  They exist in our communities, and they exist in our schools.
For educators, they are our students. They are not theories, they are
not ideologies, and they deserve to be treated respectfully and as the
diverse individuals they are.  
watch the statistics play themselves out in our schools everyday: three
in four trans students have been targets of mockery or bullying.bOne
in five have been physically or sexually assaulted because of their
gender identity/expression. Nearly half of transgender teens have
attempted suicide, a shocking statistic that drops to less than five per
cent when they get support from family members.   
2014 the Ontario Human Rights Code has prohibited discrimination on the
basis of gender identity or gender expression. To our trans students I
say we see you. We stand in solidarity with you, and we demand that our
local MPP Laurie Scott, Minister of Education Lisa Thompson, and Premier
of Ontario Doug Ford disavow and denounce this hateful policy and that
they work with partners in the education sector to ensure that all
students receive the safe and caring public education to which they are

Colin Matthew, President OSSTF District 15 for local public high school teachers