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Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto

“Safe Spaces in Catholic Schools: Are They Really Safe?”

Kris Bertram, Sabrina Bartlett, Jessica Laryea, Joyti Sharma, Abdu Wahab


Kris Bertram and Sabrina Bartlett, both graduate students from the Humanities, Social Sciences & Social Justice Education (HSSSJE) Department at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, will be addressing prevalent issues of equity and equality within Catholic schools in Ontario.  The programme will focus on the purpose of a 'safe space' in our schools, Gay-Straight Alliance Groups in Catholic schools, and discuss why Catholic schools in Ontario are receiving public funds, while other faith-based schools are not. Are we truly living in a secular society if Ontario is funding a faith-based institution?

A special thank you to all our panel members: Dan Mahoney, a school teacher at Jarvis Collegiate Institute; a student from Jarvis Collegiate Institute; Jessica, Jyoti, and Abdu, all graduate students (HSSSJE), and to our pre-recorded guests: Dr. John Portelli, a professor in Philosophy (HSSSJE); a teacher from the Ontario Catholic School Board, and the leader of the Green Party of Ontario, Mike Schreiner.  Last but not least, we would like to thank Dr. Miglena Todorova (HSSSJE) for this wonderful opportunity.  It is our hopes to bring light to this sensitive and controversial issue while also creating a safe and inclusive space for a diversity of voices to be heard."