The new Education Act, which has not been proclaimed in force as of yet, has a focus on diversity. It promotes diversity in the courses being taught in Alberta under section 16:
16(1) All courses or programs of study and instructional materials used in a school must reflect the diverse nature and heritage of society in Alberta, promote understanding and respect for others and honour and respect the common values and beliefs of Albertans.
(2) For greater certainty, the courses or programs of study and instructional materials referred to in subsection (1) must not promote or foster doctrines of racial or ethnic superiority or persecution, social change through violent action or disobedience of laws.
It gives students the responsibility of respecting diversity under section 31 and the Board this same responsibility under section 33. Therefore, while individual teachers as human beings have a right to their own personal opinions, the focus within the workplace and at schools across Alberta must be to ensure a “…welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments that respect[s] diversity and nurture[s] a sense of belonging and a positive sense of self” for each student.
Once we as educators, principals and administrators have the knowledge of how homophobia is affecting youth in a learning environment, each of us can choose the strategies we will use to create a safe school. These strategies can range from prohibiting the use of homophobic slurs, to assisting in the organization of a gay/straight alliance at school, to inviting an expert to talk to classes. For instance, Youthsafe.net offers a free session, that is fun and non-judgmental, to open the door for a discussion of some of the stereotypes about LGBT youth.
The Supreme Court of Canada in Ross stated:
The importance of ensuring an equal and discrimination free educational environment, and the perception of fairness and tolerance in the classroom are paramount in the education of young children. This helps foster self-respect and acceptance by others.