In recent years, there has been a growing movement to include Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) resources in Canadian schools. SOGI 123 is a set of tools and resources designed to create safer and more inclusive schools for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities. However, this movement has not been without its detractors, with some groups actively campaigning against the inclusion of SOGI 123 resources in schools. In this article, we will explore why having SOGI 123 resources in Canadian schools is so important, how it can prevent self-harm and suicide ideation among students, and why anti-SOGI messaging is harmful.
The Mental Health Crisis Among 2SLGBTQ+ Youth
It is no secret that 2SLGBTQ+ youth face unique challenges when it comes to mental health. According to a study by the Trevor Project, LGBTQ+ youth are five times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. This alarming statistic highlights the urgent need for support and resources for 2SLGBTQ+ youth.
One of the ways that schools can support 2SLGBTQ+ youth is by providing access to SOGI 123 resources. These resources help create an inclusive environment where students feel safe and supported. When students feel accepted for who they are, they are less likely to experience feelings of isolation or depression.
The Role of SOGI 123 Resources in Preventing Self-Harm and Suicide Ideation
SOGI 123 resources play a crucial role in preventing self-harm and suicide ideation among 2SLGBTQ+ youth. By providing education on sexual orientation and gender identity, these resources help reduce stigma and discrimination. When students have a better understanding of what it means to be 2SLGBTQ+, they are less likely to experience bullying or harassment from their peers.
Moreover, SOGI 123 resources provide teachers with the tools they need to create an inclusive classroom environment. Teachers can use these resources to educate themselves on how best to support their 2SLGBTQ+ students. This includes using inclusive language, creating safe spaces within the classroom, and addressing any instances of discrimination or harassment that may arise.
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The Harmful Effects of Anti-SOGI Messaging
Despite the clear benefits of including SOGI 123 resources in schools, there are still groups that actively campaign against them. Anti-SOGI messaging can cause lasting damage by perpetuating harmful stereotypes about 2SLGBTQ+ individuals.
For example, anti-SOGI messaging often portrays being 2SLGBTQ+ as something abnormal or unnatural. This type of messaging can lead to feelings of shame or self-loathing among 2SLGBTQ+ youth. It can also contribute to a hostile school environment where bullying or harassment is more likely to occur.
One of the common arguments used by opponents of SOGI 123 resources is that they sexualize children. This argument is not only unfounded but also harmful as it perpetuates myths and stereotypes about 2SLGBTQ+ individuals. Here are some facts that debunk this message:
- SOGI 123 resources do not promote any particular sexual orientation or gender identity. Instead, they provide education on these topics to create a safe and inclusive environment for all students.
- The purpose of SOGI 123 resources is not to encourage students to be 2SLGBTQ+ but rather to support those who already identify as such. These resources help students understand what it means to be 2SLGBTQ+ and how they can support their peers in a respectful manner.
- There is no evidence to suggest that exposure to SOGI 123 resources leads to an increase in sexual activity among students. In fact, studies have shown that comprehensive sex education programs like SOGI 123 actually delay the onset of sexual activity among young people.
- Finally, it’s important to note that children are already exposed to discussions about sexuality and gender identity through popular media, social interactions with peers, and even within their families. So providing them with accurate information through SOGI 123 resources helps them develop a healthy understanding of these topics.
The argument that SOGI 123 resources sexualize children is simply untrue. These resources provide education on sexual orientation and gender identity in a way that promotes inclusivity, respect, and understanding.
Having SOGI 123 resources in Canadian schools is essential for supporting the mental health needs of 2SLGBTQ+ youth. By providing education on sexual orientation and gender identity, these resources help reduce stigma and discrimination while promoting inclusivity within the classroom environment. Conversely, anti-SOGI messaging perpetuates harmful stereotypes about 2SLGBTQ+ individuals that can cause lasting damage both mentally and emotionally and has no place in the public education system.
It is time for us as a society to recognize the importance of supporting our 2SLGBTQ+ youth by ensuring continued access to vital educational tools like SOGI 123 resources.
How Can You Help?
Contact your school board and teachers to let them know you support SOGI 123 and sign the petition to show your support.
Photo: Protesters and counter-protestors shared their polarizing views on the SOGI 123 curriculum at the B.C. Legislature in 2018. (Keri Coles/Black Press file)