Trustees with Red Deer Public Schools raised the Pride flag on May 31, 2022 to declare June Pride Month. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Trustees with Red Deer Public Schools raised the Pride flag on May 31, 2022 to declare June Pride Month. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

WATCH: Pride Month declared by Red Deer Public Schools

Flag raising at division’s downtown office

Red Deer Public Schools has officially declared June as Pride Month for schools to celebrate their own Pride Weeks during the month.

“For many years our schools have held a number of events throughout the school year that have supported our 2SLGBTQIA+ students, families and staff. But this year will be the first that Red Deer Public Schools celebrate Pride Month and we expect it to continue to evolve in the years to come,” said school board chair Nicole Buchanan.

To kick off the month, the division raised a progressive rainbow Pride flag at its downtown central office on Tuesday.

“By celebrating Pride, it represents our board’s commitment to a safe and respectful teaching and learning environment for all of our students and staff. If it makes a difference for even one student, then that’s something that we’re proud of.”

She said each school will decide when and how they want to celebrate Pride Week with age-appropriate campaigns and activities, but the division wants each school include an awareness and educational component.

Related:

Red Deer Public Schools officially endorses Pride Week

The road to Pride Month has not been without its challenges for the school division.

In February 2021, the school board rejected a district Pride Week in favour of a Diversity Week to the disappointment of the LGBTQ community. But earlier this year, the board updated the division’s Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression Policy and added Pride Week.

Prior to the update, the policy did allow schools to have a Pride Week or days. But now as a division, Red Deer Public supports the celebration of Pride Week and related activities, thereby providing division-wide opportunity.

Related:

Defeat of Pride Week motion at Red Deer Public Schools catches heat

“As we declare June Pride Month in Red Deer, we believe that all students should be able to attend school in a safe and inclusive environment, free from discrimination,” Buchanan said.

She said one of division’s priorities is equity and Pride Month is an opportunity to celebrate diversity.

“Red Deer Public Schools is proud to welcome all.”



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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