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

CanWel takes Fernie students tree planting

Fernie Secondary class learns about reforestation; CanWel responds to AKBLG resolutions

Elk Valley loggers compliant: Managed Forest Council

Council finds no evidence of non-compliance after two complaints about logging in the Elk Valley

Sparwood residents warned of mine blast

The blast at Elkview Operations is expected to be visible from the Sparwood community

Fernie women step in to save autism program

Branch Out Learning and Behaviour Therapy to replace EK Behaviour Intervention Program in June

Reader survey offers Free Press readers $5000 cash prize

The Free Press is offering readers the chance to win $5000 cash… Continue reading

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

Community spirit saves Sparwood’s Coal Miner Days

Volunteers still needed to help run event, which will be held from June 3-9 at various locations

Sparwood Mayor resigns from Teck

David Wilks resigns from Teck Coal over a perceived conflict of interest

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

B.C. woman left ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

Kootenay youth substance use trending downward: survey

A bi-annual survey distributed to regional schools shows that youth substance use is decreasing

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Most Read