New Brunswick Human Rights Commission

What does the Human Rights Act say about gay or lesbian students? (10/04/09)

NB 501

April 9, 2010

MONCTON (CNB) - The New Brunswick Human Rights Commission will hold an information session in Moncton about the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) students under the Human Rights Act as well as the corresponding responsibilities of educators.

"LGBT students are entitled to be free from discrimination and harassment," said Gordon Porter, chair of the commission. "Yet, surveys show that a large number of LGBT students feel unsafe in school or are bullied. The Human Rights Act guarantees equality in every aspect of school life, from sports to clubs, to curriculum, to teacher conduct and even proms, and its requirements are quite stringent, but many people are unaware of them. I hope this presentation will help correct that."

The information session, which will be open to the public, will be presented by Francis Young, a human rights officer from Fredericton.

The session will start at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 22, in Room A232 of the Jeanne-de-Valois (Education) building on the Université de Moncton campus in Moncton. There is no need to register, and there is no registration fee. More information is online.

The presentation is timed to coincide with one-day training sessions given in English on April 22 and in French on April 23 by McGill social work professor Bill Ryan and psychologist Françoise Susset. They are meant to give professionals the foundations for effective interventions with LGB clients. More information, and registration, is available online.

The Human Rights Act protects against discrimination and harassment based on 14 personal characteristics in employment, public services, housing, publicity and certain associations. LGBT students and staff can file complaints with the commission.

10/04/09

MEDIA CONTACTS: Francis Young, human rights officer, New Brunswick Human Rights Commission, 506-453-2308; Bill Ryan, professor, McGill University, 514-277-6994.

10/04/09