Why are Gay-Straight Alliances in Alberta Schools Political “Hot Potatoes”?


February 12, 2015 :: Robert Cey, PhD
Moderated by Shannan Little

A motion to mandate that Alberta schools support the creation of student-led gay-straight alliances (GSAs) in schools where students have requested it, was defeated in the Alberta Legislature early last year. In late 2014 two Bills dealing with the same student-led gay-straight alliances were brought before the legislature. The first, Bill 202, was a private members Bill, which prompted the Government to draft its own, Bill 10. By the time the dust settled and amendments were attempted, neither Bill was passed as Premier Prentice stepped in and put the Bills on hold pending further studies.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia recently released the results of an extensive study showing that GSAs reduce the risk of suicide for all students, LGBTQ and straight. The speaker will present further background information on this controversial topic and discuss what is known about the effects GSAs can have for all students in the schools where they are established.

Speaker: Robert Cey, PhD

Dr. Cey is an Assistant Professor of Counselling Psychology with the Faculty of Education at the University of Lethbridge. He is also a registered provisional psychologist and has a research focus on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender issues in Psychology (particularly processes of individual identity development and understanding and overcoming the effects of homophobic violence and verbal abuse).

Dr. Cey’s presentation will include some background on the legislative history of GSAs in Alberta, some information on the common goals and activities of the groups, and what is known about how GSAs are believed to affect both the social and interpersonal climates of schools and students’ mental health.

Moderator: Shannan Little
Date: Thursday, February 12, 2015 Time: Noon - 1:30 PM (30 minutes each for presentation, lunch and Q & A) Location: Country Kitchen Catering (Lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S Cost: $11.00 (includes lunch) or $2.00 (includes coffee/tea at the presentation only)


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