Motion to Fly Pride Flag at Elementary Schools Comes to Public Board


A motion to fly Pride flags at public elementary schools is going before the Greater Essex County District School Board Tuesday.

Every public high school in Essex County has flown the symbolic rainbow-coloured flag in June for Pride Month since 2016, but Vice Chairperson Julia Burgess says grade schools only do it on a school by school basis.

Burgess tells AM800 News the symbolic gesture can go a long way in showing kids of all genders and sexual orientations that school is a safe place.

"There can be a lot of messages within their own families, within their peer groups, that signal that maybe they're different, that they don't belong or what they know to be their truth is something to hide and not celebrate," she says. "It's okay if their brother likes guys, if their uncle is gay or if there grandmother is a member of 70-plus Pride ... even if they're just questioning their own self, it's [the flag] a visual signal that it’s okay."

She expects there to be some healthy discussion at Tuesday night's meeting, but she's confident her colleagues will see value in creating the policy.

"The Gay Straight Alliance for staff have noticed this and remarked on it for years as well, so I think if trustees are truly supportive of the people that they represent, they'll see that it's something that we can get behind like we did with our high schools," she added.

Windsor-Essex Pride Fest already supplies flags to local high schools free of charge — Burgess says the group has already pledged to do the same if primary schools join in.