Catholic schools in Toronto will raise pride flags for the first time ever next month – CBC Reports. On Thursday (May 6), the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) trustees voted for raising rainbow flags outside its office and all of its schools to celebrate Pride Month every June.
The decision came after the board heard former Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne, a member of the LGBT+ and Christian Communities, asked the trustees to send a 'clear signal' of supporting Pride Month.
"Your position as the largest Catholic School Board in the province is one that I think comes with the responsibility to play a leadership role, especially when it comes to those issues that continue to divide the Catholic community," Wynne said.
The TCDSB said in a statement this "important step" shows how committed it is to creating a safe and inclusive place for the LGBT+ community in its Catholic schools.
"Knowing that the board recognizes Pride Month and will fly the Pride flag is just so encouraging for students like me because it feels like we're being included in the conversations and thought about," student trustee, Keith Baybayon, said in an interview with CBC News.
Just 10 days ago, the Halton Catholic District School Board voted against flying the rainbow flag for Pride Month – but its nine catholic schools posted in support of the LGBT+ community on their social media pages.
Toronto City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, chair of the city's LGBTQ+ advisory committee, spoke as a delegate at the meeting.
"By raising the rainbow flag and proclaiming pride month, the TCDSB will be joining the City of Toronto, the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada, proclaiming that your schools are safe; that they are inclusive, vibrant communities," she said.
Every Toronto Catholic District School Board school and facility will raise the rainbow flag from June 1-30 every year to support Pride Month going forward. Both Thunder Bay and Waterloo Catholic school boards in Ontario previously decided to do the same.
(Image Credit: Waterloo Catholic District School Board)