Vista Virtual School wishes all of our students, families, and colleagues a very happy LGBTQ+ Pride Month!
Since opening its (virtual) doors in 1996, VVS has always prided itself (pun intended) on its inclusivity, with our students coming from every background imaginable. While for many the reasons for choosing distance learning are purely academic or related to demanding extracurricular activities, some of our students are drawn to the virtual school setting due to bullying and harassment experienced in regular school settings.
About four percent of Canadian adolescents identify as LGBTQ+. While considerable social progress has been made in recent decades, these youths remain far more likely to experience bullying, sexual harassment, physical abuse, and social isolation than their non-LGBTQ+ peers. This in turn translates into elevated risk of depression and other mental health issues, drug and alcohol abuse, aggressive behaviour, and suicide.
Vista Virtual School proudly stands by all our students and firmly opposes any and all discrimination, be that on the basis of gender and sexual orientation or anything else. This includes a zero-tolerance policy towards any sort of homophobic or transphobic language and a commitment by all our staff to honour students’ preferences of personal pronouns (where applicable) and avoid assumptions of students’ heterosexuality and cisgenderism.
We’ve still got a long way to go in achieving full equality for all and a bullying-free society. As such, we encourage you all to get to know your LGBTQ+ Pride history and terminology and take a stand against homophobic and transphobic speech and bullying wherever you may encounter it.