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SOGI stands for sexual orientation and gender identity. Since we all have a sexual orientation and gender identity, it includes all of us. Every student understands and expresses their gender differently, with interests and choices that are common or less common for their gender. Some students may be unsure of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Others may identify specifically as lesbian, gay, straight, bisexual, queer, two-spirit, transgender, cisgender, non-binary, or other. A SOGI-inclusive school means all of these experiences and identities (of students and their families) are welcomed, embraced, and never cause for discrimination.

SOGI is one of many topics about diversity discussed regularly in schools, such as when educators speak about race, ethnicity, religion, and ability. SOGI-inclusive education simply means speaking about SOGI in a way that ensures every student feels like they belong. There is no separate and distinct SOGI program or curriculum.  Sexual orientation and gender identity are important topics that are interwoven through several curriculum areas and school activities. How the topics are introduced to students is dependent on the age and stage of their development.  These topics may also be discussed as they arise in the daily lives of students.

In July 2016, Bill 27- Human Rights Code Amendment Act was passed to include “gender identity or expression” among the protected grounds covered by the BC Human Rights Code. The B.C. Ministry of Education and Child Care followed in September 2016 with its own directive asking that explicit references to sexual orientation and gender identity be added to the policies and codes of conduct in each school district. The Ministry of Education and Child Care has produced a SOGI Policy Guide that includes three goals for supporting diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions:

  1. Visibility: The diversity of sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions are recognized and valued.
  2. Protection: The dignity of all people across the sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) spectra is intended to be preserved, as well as protected from harm.
  3. Inclusion: Equitable treatment and inclusion are a reality for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.

Hence, schools have the legal responsibility to proactively create safe, inclusive learning environments for all students. Some students face physical barriers, while other barriers, like sexual orientation and gender identity, are not so visible.

For more information, please see the Minister’s and K-12 partners’ joint statement of support for SOGI education here.

SD46 follows the Ministry of Education and Child Care’s SOGI Policy manual, as well as the SOGI 1 2 3 model of implementation. This model guides us in developing policies and procedures, creating inclusive environments, and providing appropriate and relevant classroom resources for SOGI. You can read SD46’s SOGI policy here and our administrative regulations for SOGI here. These regulations outline how our district is supporting students and staff to create SOGI-inclusive schools that value and celebrate diversity here on the unceded and traditional lands and waters of the Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw and the shíshálh Nation. 

Many boards across the province have been given the opportunity to articulate how sexual orientation and gender identity fits into the rich and vibrant tapestry of inclusion in our schools. The foundation and strength to support SOGI as part of inclusive practices is the Canadian Human Rights Act, the British Columbia Human Rights Code, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, all of which protect sexual orientation and gender identity. In 2012, the Board of Education of School District No. 46 (Sunshine Coast) developed a district-specific policy regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.


What do we do to ensure the human rights of our students, staff and community are protected and we are truly fostering a BC and a school district where students and staff do not experience impediments to full and free participation? We create and maintain a climate of understanding and mutual respect where all are equal in dignity and rights and we do this by example and by education. We will need to take risks and make mistakes as we learn how to do this with you.


What we know about inclusion is that when we teach inclusion and promote inclusion each student and staff member benefits. They benefit because it creates safety for all, not just the individual who is different. It is clear we are not at a place of common understanding as a country, let alone a district, as the federal government released a national action plan on 2SLGBTQI+ entitled “Building our future with Pride” just last year. A key component of that plan is community education. As a level of government, we need to stand behind our policy and continue to work to promote understanding and inclusion.


Any attempt to silence the conversation around inclusion and move away from a public education system grounded in equity is a significant regression. It makes our students, staff and entire community vulnerable to the impact of hate.


What we will promise is to continue to promote an inclusive environment where each student and staff member has the assurance of full participation. Where dignity and respect are available for each student and staff member and where families are supported to participate in our learning community regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or family status. Our school district stands firmly and proudly to support our 2SLGBTQI+ community. 

To reaffirm our support, we issue the following statement on SOGI:

The Sunshine Coast Board of Education re-affirms the district’s commitment as stated in Board Policy 20 Sexual Orientation and Gender Identify that ” the Board of Education is responsible for providing an educational system that is safe, welcoming, inclusive and affirming for all students, staff and community members… and recognizes and values the diversity within its school communities and believes that each individual contributes to the strength of the district’s culture”.

Our district’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Policy and Regulation, adopted in 2012 and 2020, are intended to ensure our schools provide safe, supportive and respectful learning environments, in alignment with the Canadian Human Rights Act, the British Columbia Human Rights Code, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, and the mandate provided by the Ministry of Education and Child Care.

The board is also committed to the ongoing work to promote inclusion and support 2SLGBTQI+ students, staff and families. The Sunshine Coast Board of Education firmly believe that students, staff and families deserve to feel safe and accepted for who they are and deserve to learn and work in an environment free of discrimination.


Submitted by Chair Amanda Amaral, February 2023

Board of Education School District 46 – Sunshine Coast


















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