London West Girls’ Government at Queen’s Park calling for improved equity in education
QUEEN’S PARK – The London West Girls’ Government was at Queen’s Park this morning to advocate for improved gender equity in Ontario schools.
The London West Girls’ Government, comprised of eleven Grade 8 students from Wortley Road Public School, Tecumseh Public School, and St. Martin Catholic School, held a press conference to present their recommendations to the Ford government. These include providing free menstrual products in schools, engaging students in setting dress codes, incorporating the subject of consent into curriculum about healthy relationships and addressing gender identity and sexual orientation in an age-appropriate manner beginning in Grade 3.
The girls also called for funding and support for in-school and community services for students who have experienced sexual violence, and for the Ford government to reverse increases to class sizes.
This is the third year that MPP Sattler has participated in the non-partisan Girls’ Government program, which engages girls in advocating on an issue that is important to them. She has been meeting regularly with the students since January.
“After passionate and thoughtful consideration of issues ranging from poverty, climate change, homelessness, and animal rights, the girls identified gender equity in education as their government’s priority,” said Sattler.
The students conducted research and heard from speakers from Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU), the Thames Valley District School Board, ANOVA, and the Middlesex-London Health Unit. Their advocacy efforts included writing letters to the editor of the London Free Press, creating a petition and collecting signatures, and writing letters to government ministers.
Following their media conference, the students met with government and opposition MPPs and saw their petition presented in the Ontario Legislature.
The petition remains available for download to the public at: http://peggysattler.ca/petitions.