PVNC Board of Trustees votes to fly Pride flag at Board facilities during Pride Month
April 27, 2022
Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington (PVNC) Catholic District School Board will fly the Pride flag at its board facilities commencing this June during the celebration of Pride Month.
Trustee Kevin MacKenzie brought forth the following motion, which passed with a majority vote during the April 26, 2022 board meeting:
The Board of Trustees authorizes the Director of Education to fly the Pride flag at school board facilities during the month of June, to further the promotion of an environment of inclusion, diversity and equity in our community.
“I want to set the same example to my children that Jesus did, and that’s to love all people,” MacKenzie said as he presented the motion. “I want (students) to feel proud of their school board and their school. I want them to feel proud of themselves. I want them to be filled with pride because I can tell you that I am proud of every student in our board. Let them be proud and let’s raise the Pride flag.”
Board Chairperson Braden Leal quoted Pope Francis in his support for the motion.
“Time and time again, Pope Francis’ message is explicit – we must always consider the person. The doors of our Catholic schools must be clearly open to all people,” Leal said. “We have an opportunity to physically and symbolically demonstrate full inclusion, to welcome each and every member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community by flying the Pride flag during Pride Month.”
Director of Education Joan Carragher said the raising of the Pride flag complements the Board’s commitment to equity and the day-to-day work our schools undertake to make all students feel included.
“We will continue our commitment every single day to equity, diversity and inclusion in a focused and strategic way so that our students will continue to understand that we are accompanying them in their realization of their own unique story. The raising of the Pride flag will be one more way that we demonstrate this accompaniment,” Carragher said. “I will now work towards implementation of this passed motion from our Board of Trustees and pray that in doing so, all of our students and staff feel like they belong in our wonderful PVNC Catholic community.”
Student trustee Siobhán Marie noted the Pride flag was a tangible symbol of inclusion sending an important message that all students are welcome in our Cathoic schools.
“Belongingness is a feeling that all students are entitled to, no matter their gender identity, sexuality, or if they’re still questioning who they are,” she said. “It is not enough to tell marginalized students that they belong– belongingness is a feeling fueled by action. Inclusion must be intentional, tangible, and most importantly, measurable. It’s truly important that we are supporting these students through a lens of faith, equity, and diversity.”
Trustee Loretta Durst cited the gospel in her support for the motion.
“The gospel has taught us that Jesus reached out to those who were marginalized in his community – we are challenged to follow his example and demonstrate acceptance of all students so they may feel welcome in their schools,” she said. “We have heard from our students that this is an important issue for them, and as such, as a Trustee, I am listening to their voices so they feel that those that govern their schools are listening and responding to their calls for justice.”