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MSB Celebrates with Pride - Young Activist Raises Flag

Maybe you think the pride flag goes up every year at McKenzie Smith Bennett Public School. But this practice has a fairly short history. So short that Stella Skinner, a 12-year-old student and trans activist, remembers a time when it didn’t happen.

Stella’s mom describes her as someone “who wants to make schools an open and welcoming place for all. She learned the ropes fighting to ban conversion therapy with Bill 77, she’s the youngest recipient of an Inspire Award, and she’s sure she’s someday going to be a highly successful lawyer. She was the 2019 Toronto Pride Youth Ambassador. She also spoke in front of thousands the same years women's march in Toronto.”

And yet June 1, 2021, marked the first time Stella has raised the pride flag in her own school! Stella describes this is “a symbol that shows how far we’ve come. When I started here it (pride month) was dismissed. Then the flag was raised quietly. But today we celebrate!”

In her speech Stella thanked her allies, teachers and principal and describes MSB as “such a welcoming space. It’s not just an accepting space, it’s a space where all kinds of people are celebrated.”

Principal Phillips says she is “really proud of this community.” She moved to MSB over 7 years ago, into this culture and movement. “Stella and the community members have made today possible.” Ms. Phillips reminds everyone that “an attitude of gratitude and positivity” is what we really need.

Due to COVID and restrictions, the raising of the pride flag was celebrated by a small crowd of friends, allies, and staff but it was CELEBRATED none the less.

You can watch the video below....

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