Madeleine Blanchette and Millie Gadd painting the rainbow sidewalk at Isabella Dicken Elementary School, Wednesday, June 6. Turn to page A2 for the full story. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Fernie schools celebrate inclusivity

“We are celebrating inclusion at our school and the rainbow is an international symbol for that.”

Both École Isabella Dicken Elementary School and Fernie Secondary School (FSS) celebrated inclusivity, last week. The sidewalk at the elementary school and the steps in Traynor Hall at the secondary school were transformed into rainbows.

“We are celebrating inclusion at our school and the rainbow is an international symbol for that,” said EIDES Vice Principal Janet Kuijt.

The City of Fernie, School District 5 and Fernie Pride Society collaborated as a part of this celebration of inclusion.

“Our students, and as well the high school students, helped us paint a rainbow crosswalk to help welcome people to our school,” said Kuijt.

In November 2017, the B.C. Government introduced the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) initiative in schools, which is, “… an inclusive term that represents all individuals regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity”.

This includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit, heterosexual and cisgender.

FSS’s repainting of their steps was a part of this initiative, spearheaded by the student council. Last year, FSS took part in painting a rainbow crosswalk, but found that the paint wore off very quickly. This is why they chose to paint the stairs in Traynor Hall.

High school student around the Elk Valley recently participated in the unveiling of School District 5’s rainbow crosswalk.

“For me, I feel like it helps bridge the gap for them and it makes their world feel a little bigger,” said FSS SOGI representative Danielle Gibson.

“When we went to Cranbrook for their rainbow crosswalk, I had some kids say, ‘It’s really cool Madame, because there’s kids talking about stuff that we deal with all the time. It’s nice to know we’re not the only ones.’”

FSS teacher Tara Elliot said it was great to see the kids come together and do something positive.

“I think it’s just a good initiative to show inclusion, and that everyone has a safe place in our school, which is really positive to see,” she said.


The completed rainbow staircase initiative in Traynor Hall at Fernie Secondary School. Courtesy of FSS The completed rainbow staircase initiative at FSS. Courtesy of FSS

Just Posted

Elkford councillor Joe Zarowny remembered

The District of Elkford today announced the passing of long time councillor,… Continue reading

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Fernie arena tragedy “wake up call” for global refrigeration industry

Technical Safety BC’s incident report shared across 60 countries, reaching as far as Poland

Lake Koocanusa under the microscope

Wildsight, Sierra Club BC, Headwaters Montana and U.S. university launch water sampling program

Province offers support ahead of Fernie arena tragedy anniversary

Loss of three men in workplace incident motivates Labour Minister to make B.C. safer

Naked man jumping into Toronto shark tank a ‘premeditated’ stunt: official

The man swam in a tank at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Meet the City of Fernie candidates

Voters in Fernie will vote for one Mayor, six Councillors and one School Board Trustee on October 20

Meet the District of Sparwood candidates

Voters in Sparwood will vote for one Mayor and six Councillors on October 20

Meet the District of Elkford candidates

The Elkford Chamber of Commerce will host an All Candidates Forum on October 4

BCTF wins grievance over teacher shortage in public schools

Arbitrator found Chilliwack school district did not hire enough on-call teachers or librarians

Workers at BC Interior mill strike as negotiations resume in Kelowna

Picket lines went up at 4 a.m Tuesday, Oct. 16 at Tolko Lakeview Division in Williams Lake

Toronto Police ID B.C. man as naked shark tank jumper

David Weaver, of Nelson, is wanted on mischief and assault charges

In Florida, families seeking the missing amid storm damage

Five days after the hurricane slammed into the Florida Panhandle, people are struggling to locate friends and loved ones.

Prince Harry and Meghan start Aussie tour with baby gifts

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on a 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

Most Read