Celebrating Progress through #ocsbPRIDE – OCSB Pride Month 2023

Pride Month is a time of year to celebrate the 2SLGBTQ+ community and appreciate how together we enrich our vibrant school communities. As the OCSB community grows, our students and staff reflect our commitment to the “dignity and respect for all human beings” within the Catholic faith. OCSB GSAs, Rainbow and Diversity clubs work together to organize Pride Month celebrations with the help of their peers and OCSB staff. The Progress flag will be flown at all OCSB schools this month.

#ocsbPRIDE in our Schools

Every year, OCSB schools celebrate #ocsbPRIDE in their unique fashion. Last year, St. Joseph High School students celebrated their #ocsbPRIDE by bringing their school together for their version of Pride Week. This year we celebrate this example of the commitment to Be Community in three more schools.

#ocsbPRIDE at St. Patrick High School

Rainbow Alliance students sporting their brand-new club hoodies will celebrate by decorating their school, including display cases where they will place 2SLGBTQ+ figures, photos, and short write-ups of their contributions to society. They will also maintain and decorate a bulletin board outside the main office. Each homeroom will be treated to announcements detailing 2SLGBTQ+ history every Tuesday and Thursday for the duration of Pride. They will round off the month by awarding alums the Rainbow Alliance Award for their contribution to the 2SLGBTQ+ community at the school.

#ocsbPRIDE at St. Francis Xavier High School

The HUGS (Humans Understanding Gender and Sexuality) group at St. Francis Xavier is leading this year’s school celebration. They have packaged and sold several Pride bags featuring rainbow-coloured candies, pronoun pins, and pride buttons to raise awareness of their school club. They also put together a document for school staff to review, including 2SLGBTQ+ microaggressions, slurs, and other words or phrases to avoid. Students were able to share this document with staff during a PD day.

#ocsbPRIDE at Lester B. Pearson

Students will nominate an “Ally of the Week” for June 5 to 9 and June 12 to 16. Finally, they will come together for a school-wide celebration of “Class Rainbow Colour Day.” Other activities include organizing several bake sales, decorating doors throughout the school and a Canvas Art Pledge. 

Staff are welcome to join a Lunch & Learn where educators will hear a talk from OCSB educator Kathleen Brennan who will speak on making classrooms safer spaces for our 2SLGBTQ+ students. Staff will also participate in “Staff Pronoun Day,” where our teachers wear a button with their pronouns to encourage conversations around pronouns and as a gesture of solidarity with our transgender students.

#ocsbPRIDE at St. Joseph High School

St. Joseph High School students celebrated in May by hosting a spirit week that included daily items to wear, a bake sale, and a movie buyout to close the week.

How can you celebrate #ocsbPRIDE?

You can celebrate with us all month long using the #ocsbPRIDE hashtag on all social media platforms. We love to see all the beautiful examples of Be Community during times like these. By showing love and acceptance, we can create a community that reflects the teachings of our faith, which makes everyone feel valued and cherished.

As we celebrate Pride Month, let us remember the kind words of OCSB Director of Education Tom D’Amico, “As a Catholic community, we are guided by Catholic social teachings. We believe that everyone should be accepted and treated with respect in a safe, inclusive and caring school environment”.

If you would like to learn more about how the OCSB approaches Equity, Inclusion and Diversity, please feel free to learn more on our Equity page.

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