Letters of inquiry will be sent to Kamloops-Thompson school principals as early as next week as the first step in creating a proposed anti-homophobic policy gets underway.
The school district’s policy committee met Wednesday afternoon for the first time this school year. Committee chairman and school trustee Gerald Watson said the policy was on the agenda.
Although still early days, Watson said the line of questioning would ask if any issues occurred at each principal’s school that would have been better dealt with according to an anti-homophobic policy.
“This will follow through on what we figured we’d do in the spring, and that’s talk to our partners about the issue,” said Watson, adding school counsellors might also be approached.
If incidents were reported and the school district’s policies on bullying aren’t deemed effective enough, then a new policy would be pursued, he said.
At that point, Watson believes it would be wise to hold a public meeting on the matter. Inquiries will come back by the end of October and any change in policy will be explored through November and December.
“If there were enough issues that came forward, it would just make sense,” said Watson.
The Kamloops-Thompson Teachers' Association addressed the board in late April, saying the current policy is not comprehensive enough and teachers need a better tool for responding to issues.
A couple of months later, South Kamloops secondary student presented school trustees with a 700-signature petition asking for an anti-homophobia policy in the school district.
Teacher association president Jason Karpuk hopes the district will act in the best interest of student safety. Even if an anti-homophobic policy is deemed redundant, it will make a difference.
“If it helps one person, isn’t it worth it?” he asked.