Creating Safer Schools & Communities

As per an email sent out to District employees from Dr. Brenda Sautner;

Homophobic Bullying:

What You Need to Know to Create Safer Schools & Communities

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 from 7 – 9 pm @ Fort McMurray Public School District Office.

“Walk down any hallway, in any K-12 school in Canada, and the single most commonly heard put-down is ‘That’s so gay’”. 

Homophobic name-calling and gay bashing is bullying with a theme. Too often homophobia becomes the language of bullying, which targets anyone who is perceived as being different or outside the “norm”.  Contemporary research indicates that homophobic bullying is “pervasive, insidious, and starts early” and is a significant factor in school violence, high school completion rates, lower grades, and negative mental health outcomes.  This community presentation highlights research into the health and safety needs of sexual and gender minority (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and two-spirit) youth, identifies different types and tactics of homophobic bullying, and provides strategies to help develop welcoming, respectful, and safe schools and communities for all young people. 

Visiting Fort McMurray, Dr. Kristopher Wells is an Assistant Professor and Director of Programs & Services, Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services. Dr. Wells is the driving force behind the creation of many ground-breaking initiatives including Camp firefly, the Alberta GSA Network, and, which has been featured across the world in more than 50 publications including the EconomistAtlanticIndependent, and Guardian. Dr. Wells has served as a scientific consultant to the Canadian Senate, Canadian Museum of Human Rights, Canadian Teachers’ Federation, Alberta Government, Alberta Teachers’ Association, RCMP, Public Health Agency of Canada, UNESCO, and the World Health Organization. Currently, he serves as the Book Review Editor for the International Journal of LGBT Youth (Taylor & Francis) and is a Board Member for REACH Edmonton, which is a centre for excellence focused on crime prevention and community safety. Dr. Wells is a frequently invited national and international speaker on sexual and gender minority youth issues. In 2014, Dr. Wells was recognized with the Alberta Teachers’ Association’s Public Education Award for his outstanding contributions to public education. He was also named as one of the Edmonton Journal’s 30 most influential people.

Please share this with others as it is FMPSD’s open invitation to the community. There is no cost to attend, only registration to ensure space and refreshments. There is another session for FMPSD school administrators (Feb 12 afternoon) as well as a session for professional service providers working with children and youth in public schools (Feb 12 morning). Details on the other two sessions will be sent separately.