The Gay-Straight Alliance at one Edmonton junior high has pledged to avoid hate speech.
The Westlawn GSA handed out cards Wednesday asking students to sign a pledge stating that they wouldn’t use, and would speak out against homophobic language. The cards were redistributed, and can be used as a sort of “membership” in order to get free treats at events put on by the GSA.
The alliance hosts events like bake sales and movie nights. Assistant Principle Steven Greene told Global News there are many lessons that can be provided by the initiative.
“It’s also to teach our students that signing their name means something,” he explained. “To honor the pledge because they signed their name to it.”
The GSA at Westlawn began just under two years ago, with only two members. Now the alliance has expanded to include 12 students.
“They have a real goal of changing the student culture into one that is more respectful,” said Greene. “That is not using hateful speech.”
Greene noted that while it will be a challenge to change the way that adolescents speak to their friends, they are already seeing a positive response and conversations being started thanks to the pledge cards. (KLM)