New $350K funding helps SOGI summit focus on student, Indigenous perspectives
The annual summit on sexual orientation and gender identity resources for B.C. schools will feature more student, parent and Indigenous voices this year, thanks to a $350,000 funding boost from the province.
The SOGI Education Summit is a place for school district representatives to learn new ways to teach LGBTQ subject matter, and share past successes and failures. Those lessons can then help shape the province's evolving approach to SOGI education.
Apart from helping increase participation from some of the groups affected by the SOGI program, the new funding will also go toward training, resources and supports for participating schools, according to the Ministry of Education.
The aim of SOGI lessons and resources is inclusivity; the province said LGBTQ students are more likely to suffer from bullying, cyberbullying and discrimination. They are also said to be at higher risk of mental health issues and suicide.
Two years after the program launched, all 60 of B.C.'s school districts are now participating, as are several independent schools – though it remains somewhat controversial among residents.
Recent polling has found most British Columbians support SOGI-inclusive education, but a substantial number – nearly one-in-five – said they oppose it.