Being an Ally: Q & A with our LGBTQ+ Committee Members

June 2, 2021

As part of Pride Month in June, the District is speaking with members of our LGBTQ + Committee, a group which supports diversity and inclusion in our schools. In this Q & A with Jessica Bain and Golda Janzen, we ask them about the meaning of Pride Month, and how we as a community can come together to support our LGBTQ+ students and staff.

What is Pride Month about?

In our District, Pride Month is a way to continue celebrating and acknowledging our students, staff, and community’s diversity and pride in hopes that one day for everyone it will be embedded in everyday life.

What does inclusion especially for LGBTQ+ members look like in the District?

We want them to know that they are honoured through our solid policy and that the definition of inclusion is important. Additionally, that there is equal access to opportunity and resources. Students and staff can feel comfortable and confident to be themselves. One of our goals is for everyone in Langley to feel valued.

What sorts of activities have been/will be taking place this year to recognize those groups, and to celebrate them?

We have a “Be An Ally” T-shirt coming out to staff this month to wear, along with our “Be An Ally” school posters with staff representation. We have shared ideas/activities that schools can do in the weeks ahead. We also have plans for our new rainbow crosswalk at the school board office. Currently, a wooden rainbow crossing guard standee “Bobbie” is bringing smiles to the Douglas Park Community Elementary, and you will notice staff wearing rainbow masks throughout the District.

What can community members do to show their support?

Community members have shown their support and could continue to do so for initiatives like the crosswalk, through donations to the Langley School District Foundation. They could put rainbow flags in their store or home windows, or wear a Pride mask if they have one. If they have “We Are a Safe Place” sticker, they could then display these on their businesses.

How much more work do you think needs to be done to help support student diversity in the District?

Hopefully one day we do not need special days or months and we are all accepted as who we are. We will continue to educate and celebrate as we move forward.

What are your hopes for the future of the LGBTQ+ Committee, and for representation and celebration of our students?

We hope that we will be able to have live events in the new school year, to help promote connections for both students and staff. We aim to continue to celebrate everyone regardless of their backgrounds and differences, and to appreciate our uniqueness. We want everyone to know that their individuality is respected, celebrated, they are cared for, and can reach out for support at any time.

Any final comments?

Both of us feel honoured and valued to work for a District that is committed to both celebrating diversity and protecting the rights of all our students and staff.