TORONTO – MPPs must pass legislation now to guarantee students the right to form gay-straight alliances, the president of Ontario’s largest union said at a rally supporting anti-bullying legislation on May 14.
Fred Hahn, president of CUPE Ontario, stood with other members of the GSA Alliance at a Queen’s Park rally today to demand MPPs pass Bill 13, the Accepting Schools Act, before the end of the legislative session in June. This anti-bullying bill mandates school boards support students who want to set up anti-bullying organizations, including gay-straight alliances, a measure supported by the union’s members.
“This legislation is important because it makes schools safer. As a part of this coalition, and as a union representing school board workers, CUPE Ontario supports Bill 13 and encourages all parties to work together to get the legislation passed before breaking for the summer,” said Hahn.
CUPE Ontario represents more than 50,000 school board support workers in every school board in the province, working in diverse roles including educational assistants, custodians, school secretaries, IT staff, trades people, instructors and library technicians.
“Delegates at our Partners Against Bullying conference in February unanimously supported the intent of the legislation and are committed to keeping schools safe for students,” said Terri Preston, chair of the CUPE Ontario School Board Coordinating Committee.
At the last meeting of CUPE school board locals, delegates voted to support Bill 13, and Hahn is a member of the GSA Coalition steering committee.
“Many people have to get involved to create safe schools. It takes custodians, clerical staff, education assistants, teachers and administrators working together. Our members are doing their part, and it’s time for MPPs to do theirs,” Hahn said.
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