Breaking the Silence held it’s 20th annual conference on LGBTQ issues Saturday at the University of Saskatchewan.
Many workshops were focused on Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) in rural school divisions.
The groups are meant to serve as a support system for students who are coming to terms with being gay, transgender or bisexual.
Sarah Gerrard. a teacher who started Saskatchewan’s first GSA at Warman High School in 2013, spoke at the event.
She said the groups ought to be protected by provincial legislation preventing schools from blocking them.
She said she understood that school boards may have differing views on homosexuality, but that this shouldn’t allow them to ban supports for gay students.
Gerrard said legislation would also keep students from having to publicly rally to start a GSA.
“If the government mandated that anyone that asked for a GSA should receive one, then that puts less onus on the students to put themselves at risk by outing themselves askling for a club,” she said.
Gerrard said there was a particular need for GSAs in rural areas, noting that most of the provinces existing clubs are currently in cities.
-With files from 650 CKOM’s JT Marshall