- SOGI is an inclusive term that represents all individuals regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. It includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit, heterosexual and cisgender.
- 19% of B.C. high school students identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or not exclusively heterosexual.
- 1% of B.C. high school students identify as transgender and 5% of Aboriginal students identify as two-Spirit.
- In the past 12 months, lesbian, gay and bisexual youth were seven times more likely than heterosexual youth to attempt suicide (28% vs. 4%).
- Studies show that having SOGI-specific anti-bullying policies improves the school climate for LGBTQ and heterosexual students, reducing discrimination, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts for all students.
- As of Dec. 31 2016, all B.C. school districts and independent schools are required to include specific references to sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) in their anti-bullying policies.
- This requirement followed the July 2016 addition of gender identity and expression as a prohibited ground of discrimination under the B.C. Human Rights Code (sexual orientation was already protected).
- B.C.’s new curriculum includes a focus on valuing diversity and respecting differences, and the topics of human rights and responses to discrimination.
- Teachers, schools and school districts may explore the B.C. Human Rights Code within those themes including, but not necessarily limited to, sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Topics related to gender and self-identity are included in the curriculum for knowledge, as well as to help students understand and respect diversity, as with the previous curriculum.
- Sexual and reproductive health is specifically covered within the Physical and Health Education curriculum. As with the previous curriculum, there is an Alternative Delivery policy that enables students and their parents/guardians to consult with their school and choose means other than regular classroom instruction to address the learning standards in this area.
- There are 49 school districts in B.C. that are part of a network for educators who are interested in SOGI-inclusive education – the B.C. SOGI Educator Network.
- These districts use SOGI 1 2 3 – a resource that provides schools and teachers with ready to use, grade-level appropriate lesson plans, online learning modules, and customizable templates and tools that align with B.C.’s new curriculum.
- The B.C. SOGI Educator Network is led by the ARC Foundation, a private foundation based in Vancouver that supports projects that improve the status of those who are marginalized in society by sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity or financial status.
- The ARC foundation developed SOGI 1 2 3 in collaboration with the B.C. Ministry of Education, B.C. Teachers' Federation, The University of British Columbia's faculty of education, Out in Schools, nine school districts throughout B.C., and local, national and international LGBTQ community organizations.
- For more information on the B.C. SOGI Educator Network and SOGI 1 2 3: https://www.sogieducation.org/
- For more information on the impact of SOGI-inclusive policies and initiatives on the well-being of LGBTQ students, see the 2016 McCreary UBC study: http://news.ubc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/LGBTQ-School-Based-Interventions-for-BC-Report.pdf
- For more information on SOGI in schools and impacts on students, see the 2011 Egale National Climate Survey on Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia in Canadian Schools: https://egale.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/EgaleFinalReport-web.pdf