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As part of the Pride Month celebrations, we are running a #OCDSBCelebratesPride campaign where we are asking OCDSB staff the importance of Pride Month for them and what it means to see the Pride Flag at OCDSB schools.

This June, as OCDSB celebrates Pride Month, we reiterate our commitment to building a Culture of Caring that makes students and staff of all gender expressions and identities feel safe, welcomed and valued. OCDSB is dedicated to fostering an inclusive learning environment and I recognize the staff, students, families and community partners who are actively working as change agents in the schools. Pride Month is an opportunity for us to highlight and celebrate our diversity but let’s remember that making OCDSB safe, caring and inclusive is an ongoing and collective commitment.

Camille Williams-Taylor, Director

June is recognized internationally as Pride Month in the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Flying the OCDSB Progress Pride Flag for the month of June sends a message to 2SLGBTQ+ students, families and staff that they matter and are welcome at OCDSB. While flying the flag celebrates the 2SLGBTQ+ community, it is important to ensure that students, staff and families see themselves reflected in curriculum resources, classrooms, schools and the District throughout the year.

Dorothy Baker, Superintendent of Instruction

Flying the pride flag at my school makes me feel seen. As a student just coming to terms with my identity, I would've loved to feel the recognition of celebrating pride month. As a teacher, it makes me feel like the times are changing. My students know they are loved.

Katie Corbett, Teacher

Pride Month is a time to reflect on our shared history, the progress made thus far, and what remains for full equality. While overdue, I am very pleased the OCDSB is flying the flag. It demonstrates we, as a community, are visible and we matter.

Daniel Fernandez (he/they), Teacher

The rainbow colours in the pride flag represent diversity. When the OCDSB displays this flag in schools and flies it at its head office, it tells us that we, as educators and a married couple, have a place. We matter. There is no shame - only pride.

Heather Graham & Corinne Davison (left), Educators

Seeing the Pride flag flying in front of a school is a reminder of the progress we have made towards making schools safe and inclusive for all students. Flying it in front of ALL OCDSB schools is a further reminder that there is still more work to do, and we all have a role to play.

Nik Cotter (he/him), Teacher

As a non-binary staff member who works at the elementary school level, it can be a challenge to feel like I am truly visible for who I am. I often get misgendered (something I can live with knowing that it's a learning process for many), but knowing this flag will be at all schools across the board makes me feel visible.

Nyk Morrigan, Them/They/Their
EA, OCDSB

I am very happy that the OCDSB celebrates Pride Month by flying the Pride Flag at all OCDSB schools. It communicates that our schools are safe, welcoming, equitable, inclusive, and diverse. It communicates that everyone is welcomed and celebrated. It communicates that we definitely walk our talk loud and proud!

Rita Lauricella, Vice-Principal

I am so proud to be an OUT administrator at the OCDSB. The raising of the pride flag tells the community, our staff, our families and our students that they are seen, heard and valued. Students today are brave, empowered and demanding we do better. This flag reminds us that PRIDE is all year, every day when we use the correct pronoun, represent our 2SLGBTQ+ in our curriculum and when we stand together against transphobia and homophobia!

Tina Ash, Vice-Principal (right) with her partner Chantal Denis

For me having the Pride flag outside of OCDSB schools during pride month shows that as an organization we are putting action behind our words. It's not just a place that claims to be inclusive, it is actively making efforts. It allows staff and students to feel like they are seen and it allows those who have questions to feel comfortable asking. Education is what we are all about after all. Let's work towards not being shy to fly the flag all the time.

Alisha Brennan, EA

Credits:

Created with an image by QuinceCreative - "lgbt gay flag"