Original published by the Toronto Star on Friday June 01, 2012.
A summit on suicides among queer youth has called for a national prevention strategy that addresses such risk factors as school bullying and boosts community support for groups like gay-straight alliances.
The two-day conference at Ryerson University, which wrapped up Thursday, was prompted by last year’s high-profile suicide of gay Ottawa teen Jamie Hubley, 15, who took his own life after having been bullied throughout elementary school and into high school.
The summit, attended by experts from across North America, was held amid a heated debate in Ontario over the recognition of gay-straight alliances or anti-homophobia clubs in the province’s proposed anti-bullying bill.
“Our school systems remain frozen in time and other forms of public policy stay silent. Everyone is so fearful of backlash from homophobes that we end up failing children and youth in the most profound way,” said panelist Tracey Peter, a University of Manitoba sociology professor. […] The summit was organized by the Egale Canada Human Rights Trust and sponsored by Ryerson and the TD Bank…