Equity and Inclusion CHATHAM KENT PRIDE How to be an LGBTQ Ally

Equity and Inclusion
Page 1, Volume 28, November 2014
A monthly newsletter to support EI in LKDSB.
How to be an LGBTQ Ally
An ally is an individual who
supports the LGBTQ community.
Allies are some of the most
effective and powerful voices of
the LGBTQ movement. Everyone
can be an ally, no matter how
they identify. Not only do allies
help people in the coming-out
process, they also help others
understand the importance of
equality, fairness, acceptance
and mutual respect.
How can YOU be an ally?
There are many sites that
explain how to be a good ally
(see below), but just follow the
basics of being a good friend:
Be a listener; Be open-minded;
Be willing to talk; Don't always
claim heterosexual privilege by
making it clear you are straight.
For more tips, go to: http://
OR an excellent guide can be
found at: http://
On September 26th,
Chatham Kent Pride
organized a march and flag
raising ceremony at City
Hall to recognize the
importance of LGBTQ Rights
and to celebrate being who
we are. The short
ceremony was well
attended by members of
the community. Six
students and two teachers
from the JMSS GSA
represented the
community. A BBQ
and social was held
on the patio
behind City
Hall. The AIDS
Support Group had a
display and representatives
there from their Young and
Proud Group. The weather
cooperated and our
students enjoyed the
opportunity to show their
Submitted by Jayson
Campeau, JMSS
How to be an
LGBTQ Ally, cont’d
Use the words bisexual,
lesbian, transgender and
gay often. Use them in
conversations with
bisexuals, lesbians and
gays (it will make us feel
less invisible), use them
in front of other
progressive people (it
will teach them to use
these words), and use
them in front of people
who you imagine will
drop dead when they
hear them (it's time they
got used to it).
(From http://mygsa.ca/
Please welcome Denise Helmer-Johnston (Teacher at JMSS) who will be taking over
the Equity and Inclusion Newsletter starting with the December issue. Denise is on
the LKDSB Equity and Inclusion Committee and is committed to bringing EI to our
schools. Please send your articles, ideas, and photos to Denise for the next
editions. Great things are happening in our schools, so let’s share!
“Your work is not to drag the work kicking and screaming into a new awareness. Your
job is to simply do your work...sacredly, secretly, and silently...and those with ‘eyes to
see and ears to hear will respond’.” — The Arcturians
“From Awareness to Action”
Equity and Inclusion
Page 2, Volume 28, November 2014
A monthly newsletter to support EI in LKDSB.
Orange Shirt Day at John McGregor
On Tuesday, Sept. 30, students and staff at John McGregor Secondary
School took part in Orange Shirt Day. Orange Shirt Day occurs every year
in September to honour the survivors of Indian Residential Schools and to
remember those who never returned home.
Cheyenne Again
This beautiful story talks of the
struggle of a Native American in
the late 1800’s being sent to a
residential school. Students will
enjoy the overall message to be
true to one’s culture and
Suggested Activities:
Good Angel / Bad Angel
Have one student be young Bull
when he must make the
decision to stay at the school or
run away. Two other students
take the ‘angel’ position and
advise young bull of what they
think he should do. (They must
explain why they think this).
Writing: Explain how young
Bull’s room at the school is
different from your own. OR
Explain how young Bull’s life
before being taken to the school
is different from yours.
Submitted by Sheri Sparling,
Winston Churchill PS
The day was organized by the school's equity committee and was an
opportunity for all of us to create meaningful
discussion about the effects of Residential
Schools and the legacy they have left behind.
Our students wore orange shirts and orange
ribbons to show survivors that they matter
and that their stories matter. It was also a
day to show all of those generations of people who have been affected that we know
the importance of learning about the
Residential School System. Students and staff approached the day as an
important time for all people in Canada to commemorate a part of history
that belongs to all of us.
Submitted by Denise Helmer-Johnston, Teacher, JMSS
Orange Shirt Day at Queen Elizabeth II
(Sarnia) PS
The staff of Queen Elizabeth II Public School in
Sarnia participated in "Orange Shirt Day" to honour
Residential School survivors and to remember the
ones who did not return home. Orange Shirt Day is
every September 30th. Please follow this link for more information:
Submitted by Debbie Plain, Native Education Worker
Orange Shirt Day at Sir John
Moore PS
Here is the SJM staff on Sept. 30 when
we, plus 240 of our students, wore
orange to honour those who survived
Residential Schools.
Submitted by Deb Kirkland, Principal, SJM
“From Awareness to Action”
Equity and Inclusion
A monthly newsletter to support EI in LKDSB.
Page 3, Volume 28, November 2014
FDK JOURNEY: An Inquiry About Residential Schools
I am on a journey of discovery and I am inviting my students to come along. I heard Susie Kicknosway
Jones from Walpole Island speak about her experience of Residential Schools at a Walk for Reconciliation at
my church in June. She also was invited to our church family camp in July. She put me in touch with
Paulette Wrightman, who is a Kindergarten teacher at the Walpole Island School. I have since done my
own research on Residential Schools and the intergenerational damage it has done to native people. My
reading included Speaking My Truth: Reflections on Reconciliation and Residential School and viewing the
National Film Board DVD: We Were Children. It is a life-changing DVD. My understanding of the research
and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is that all Canadians become aware of this history.
Paulette and I met the week before school began to make authentic relationships for the groundwork for
reconciliation. We have a plan to have our Kindergarten classes Skype/Facetime every Wednesday and we
visited them at their school on October 22nd. We called this experience "The Walpole Island Kindergarten
Friendship Connection Trip”. We visited 3 places on the Island for our trip. We went on our bus together
to visit the Residential School Monument and hear Susie Jones tell us about being four years old and being
picked up by a truck that took her very far away from her home. Next, we went to the Daycare, where a
local resident, Ed Taylor, sang songs with us. The children sang a native song to the tune of ‘Frere
Jacque.’ He sang us the Ojibway alphabet that has 147 sounds. He also gave us some information about
the drums and their relationship to that instrument. The last place we visited was the Duck Club where we
saw them cleaning ducks and we tried our hand at duck calls. We ended our trip with lunch in their
cafeteria. We shared a donut with our new friends just like the Franklin migration celebration in the book,
Franklin Celebrates.
We read the books Shi-shi-etko and Shin-chi's Canoe by Nicola Campbell. These are excellent picture
books that discuss Residential School Life. Our discussions around the book were powerful and meaningful
as our children contemplated the experience of school far away from our families for a long time.
We are also hoping to make an impact locally and on a Canadian level. We went on a field trip to the
London Children's Museum last spring before this journey began and visited the Inuit program. No mention
was made of the Residential School issue. After reading the books (above), my class wrote a letter to the
London Children's Museum to request that they add some acknowledgement to the Museum's Display. It is
a children's museum and it would fulfill the desire of native people to educate
Now that we have completed our current projects, our next focus will be looking
into a Canadian stamp for Residential schools using our Kindergarten ideas.
As well, I would like to encourage people to sign the "Canadians for a New
Partnership Declaration” at http://www.cfnp.ca/declaration/ It is a website
launched September 4th to ask Canadians to forge ahead with peace making
initiatives. (See our blog at: http://lamoureroom10.blogspot.ca/2014/10/what-day.html)
Submitted by Margie Lamoure, Kindergarten teacher, McNaughton Ave. P.S.
“From Awareness to Action”
I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it
is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. George Bernard Shaw, Playwright
Equity and Inclusion
Page 4, Volume 28, November 2014
A monthly newsletter to support EI in LKDSB.
Recommended books that
are available to borrow
include: :
Little Bee
by Chris Cleave
The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini
Far To Go
by Alison Pick
Secret Daughter
by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
They Fight Like Soldiers;
They Die Like Children
by Romeo Dallaire
Caleb's Crossing
by Geraldine Brooks
Indian Horse
by Richard Wagamese
The Immortal Life of
Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot
Last month, I got the E.I. ball rolling at Colonel Cameron. I
started with a bulletin board near the front foyer. It has some
definitions, future topics, and our current Book-of-the-Month:
Let's Talk About Race.
At the beginning of October, I did a Book-of-the-Month
reading and discussion with my own Grade 4 class, and then
repeated it with the Gr. 7 class during middle block.
I started with an introduction to the book, then I posted 5
questions around the room on chart paper:
1. What is racism?
2. How does racism hurt
3. How can racism be
4. In what other ways are
people oppressed (put
5. Do we need this book in
I read the book aloud, then selected random groups of
students to answer the questions on the chart paper. I told
them that the questions were open-ended, so I wasn't
looking for right or wrong answers, just mature discussions.
After each group shared their answers, the other groups were
allowed input and questions.
The discussions turned out very well. The students are really
thinking and talking! I was impressed.
Submitted by Jim Poore, Teacher, Colonel Cameron P.S.
How does
racism hurt
Diversity is the
one true thing we
all have in
Celebrate it every
day. – Anonymous
The fundamental principle on which our equity and inclusion work is
based is that: “every student has the opportunity to succeed, regardless
of ancestry, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, language,
physical and intellectual ability, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation,
socio-economic status or other factors” (from Achieving Excellence,
Ministry of Education, p. 8).
“From Awareness to Action”
Equity and Inclusion
A monthly newsletter to support EI in LKDSB.
Page 5, Volume 28, November 2014
Being in The Equity and Inclusiveness Committee was a great experience. It taught us the
importance of fairness and responsibility. Throughout the 8 months of being a part of the Equity
Committee, we created and organized our own game called Speed Friending, and we helped out
during the Multicultural Day by organizing games for the whole school to play. We worked countless
hours not only during our breaks at school, but after school and on weekends perfecting the events we
We came up with the idea of Speed Friending when we were trying to think of a way to get the
students of Gregory Drive Public School to be more inclusive towards each other. We figured that we
could do a spin-off of Speed Dating, where you meet with a person and learn as much as you can to
see if you’re compatible. With that idea, Speed Friending was born.
The grade 6, 7, and 8 students were all paired up with a random partner and given 10 minutes to get
to know as much as they could about each other. When the 10 minutes were up the students
participated in the game show portion of our event. We had made a smart board presentation
containing more than 60 questions that the students were likely to discuss. They were awarded points
for however many questions they got right. We had an amazing turnout and in the end everyone
enjoyed a sweet treat provided by The Equity Committee. Speed Friending gave students that had
never spoken to each other, a chance to get to know one another in an environment filled with friendly
Although we were busy and on our feet during the whole event, we also got a chance to sit back and
witness our peers appreciating, and accepting each other. The fact that we got to see all these
students, that had just known each other as another face in the hallway, actually connect and become
friends, was something that we never thought would have happened.
With the success of Speed Friending we were all more than happy to take on yet another event,
Multicultural Day! We collaborated with Student Council and put together Multicultural Day to celebrate
multiculturalism with a bake sale and fun games. Our Equity Team
looked everywhere we could to find 6 games that weren't played in our
country, and we succeeded. The day of Multicultural Day was a huge
success. The students of Gregory Drive Public school loved the games
we had organized, and we felt very proud that we had put together to
amazing events. With Student Council's back sale and our game
planning, Multicultural Day brought our students to a whole different
country, experiencing games, and food from around the world.
The Equity and Inclusiveness Team could not be more proud of what
we accomplished through our 2013-2014 school year. We hope that this
year the Equity and Inclusiveness team finds new, fun ways to bring
students together to include and accept one another.
Signed by GDPS students,
Ali Hoste, Morgan Davis, Emma Wiseman,
Keagan Lalonde, and Darian Steele
(EI Student Team)
“From Awareness to Action”
Equity and Inclusion
Page 6, Volume 28, November 2014
A monthly newsletter to support EI in LKDSB.
How to Teach
Tolerance & Equity
Presented by: Marie Noel,
Melissa Dent, Sheri Sparling,
Janette Richmond, and
Sandra Rodriguez
Mon. Nov. 24 at Cathcart PS,
4:30-6:00 (Elementary)
Tues. Nov. 25 at WDSS
3:00-5:30 (Secondary)
Thurs. Nov. 27 at Winston
Churchill PS, Chatham
4:30-6:00 (Elementary)
Respecting Diversity (LGBTQ
focus) ....A Personal Story...
Presented by: Martine Creasor,
Case Worker,
County of Lambton
Thurs. Nov. 20 at Sarnia Ed
Thurs. Nov. 27 at Chatham Ed
(Register in PD Place)
On October 24, the LKDSB
clerical staff participated in
an Equity and Inclusion PD
Day at WDSS coordinated
by Marc Coates, Al Davies,
and the Clerical PD Team.
The day started with an
interactive presentation by
the Harmony Movement,
which included becoming
aware of our biases.
Participants learned the
importance of challenging
their own assumptions
about others and creating
an environment in which all
feel respected, reflected,
understood, and welcome.
In the afternoon, they
heard Tyler White speak
about his grandmother’s
experiences in a Residential
School. Afterward, Tyler
spoke about the Seven
Grandfather Teachings, and
his wife, Shannon, did a
presentation on First
Nations’ Dances and Dress.
A high point was the Jingle
To end, each participant
was presented with a
Dream Catcher.
Thanks to the
coordinators for arranging
this interesting and
engaging day that will make
Many schools have
the Jingle Dancer by
Cynthia Smith. This
book is about a
young girl who
wants to dance a
Jingle Dance at an
upcoming powwow
to honour a family
a difference in our schools.
This video really makes a statement about how a family’s and community’s ‘acceptance’ can
make or break a person.
In contrast, another motivational speaker named Nick Vujicic (with similar limitations) was
NOT accepted and he talks about being bullied as a child. You can google him for lots of
articles on him.
Submitted by Shirley Clarke, Teacher, KGVI(S)
“We should all know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must
understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter
what their color.” – Maya Angelou
“From Awareness to Action”