• Stephen Lecce, MPP

Ontario Supporting 2SLGBTQI+ Students

June 15, 2021

TORONTO — The Ontario government is partnering with community organizations to better support Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer or Questioning, and Intersex (2SLGBTQI+) students and their families. Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, made the announcement as part of the province’s ongoing efforts to promote an education system that upholds and champions human rights and equity for all students. In addition, the government is working to strengthen school board accountability given trustees’ important role in the public education system. “Our government believes that every student – regardless of their sexual orientation, race, or faith – should feel empowered to achieve their full potential in Ontario’s schools,” said Minister Lecce. “That is why we are working with partners to combat homophobia and advance inclusivity in our schools for Ontario’s 2SLGBTQI+ students. Let us all rally behind the universal message of Pride: love is love.” “Discrimination, bullying and other forms of hate will not be tolerated in our province,” said Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. "I’m proud our government is collaborating with various sectors, including schools, to ensure children and youth in Ontario feel included and supported. It is vital that at such a vulnerable age, students know help is there for them.” The Ontario government recognizes that homophobia represents a serious threat to the mental well-being and safety of 2SLGBTQI+ students. It was recently announced by the government that for the 2021-2022 school year, mental health funding for students will rise to $80 million, representing a four time increase from 2017-2018. Ontario’s funding of mental health programs as part of the Safe Return to Class Fund will bolster support for 2SLGBTQI+ students and help foster safe and inclusive classrooms. The overall funding will provide community groups with funding to deliver collaborative, community-based student and parent resources, including targeted mental health counselling for 2SLG