Hubley’s death is drawing renewed attention to what experts say is the largest failure gripping Canadian schools: their inability to create a safe environment for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered) students. The problems lie in curriculums that ignore gay people, teachers inadequately trained to deal with homophobic bullying, and a lack of support for those who try to address the problem.
Egale Canada, a group fighting for equality for gays and lesbians, released a nationwide study in May exploring homophobia in schools — the first of its kind. It found two-thirds of LGBT youth don’t feel safe in school. One-fifth of them experience physical harassment or assault at school because of their sexuality. Half of all students surveyed said they hear homophobic slurs at least once a day.