Robin Tomlin has waited 42 years for an apology for the homophobia he endured in school. Only once he got legal representation did the North Vancouver school district begin to publicly acknowledge their discriminatory actions.
Student Azmi Jubran also sought help through the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and subsequent courts before this board admitted to his horrific treatment.
Having worked with many school boards across the province on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ) policy development in the past decade, I believe that North Vancouver has one of the poorest anti-homophobia policies in the province. Many urban and rural school boards have far superior ones. I'm not surprised that North Vancouver is finally capitulating and issuing an apology now that they are once again under the scrutiny of negative media attention.
Preventative education and teaching acceptance of LGBTQ people is a much better route for serving all students and families in their care. Tomlin's story is a sad reminder of how the scars of homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools can last a lifetime.
For a list of existing school board policies and their regulations for implementation look here: bctf.ca/SocialJustice. aspx?id=17994 James Chamberlain Vancouver