skip to content

ETFO endorses #METOO

#MeTooTen years ago, Tarana Burke, a Black American civil rights activist started a movement that has recently been reignited worldwide. She is the first to use the phrase "Me Too," in 2006, raising awareness to the ongoing societal issues of sexual harassment and abuse. As a teenager, she became involved in working to improve the lives of young girls living in marginalized communities. Burke continues to focus her social activism and advocacy on helping young women who are marginalized and survivors of abuse. #METOO has developed into a global movement, giving voice to women speaking out against gender-based violence and sexual harassment. 

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario is committed to addressing issues of sexual harassment and gender-based violence in our schools, communities and workplaces. As educators, we recognize that the path towards social change includes supporting our members' understanding and bringing to light these issues.

This page provides key resources that ETFO offers in addressing issues of sexual harassment and gender-based violence. Highlighted are also community and government organizations that are focused on addressing these issues.

ETFO’s Constitution clearly states its commitment to social justice and equity. ETFO articulates this commitment in a number of statements that include the recognition that discrimination at an individual and institutional level exists in our society and that discrimination is experienced differently by different groups, one of which is women, requiring support designed to meet its particular needs. ETFO is acting from an understanding of itself as an agent for social change.

As stated in its Human Rights Statement, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario is committed to providing an environment for members that is free from harassment and discrimination at all provincial and local Federation sponsored activities. Harassment and discrimination on the basis of a prohibited ground are violations of the Ontario Human Rights Code and are illegal.

ETFO defines harassment based on the following categories:

  • Sexual Harassment

  • Racial and Ethnocultural Harassment

  • Sexual Orientation Harassment

  • Other Forms of Harassment

ETFO provides a structured and delineated process if you wish to file a complaint.

PRS Matters Bulletins are written by the Professional Relations Services staff and are designed to keep members informed on a variety of important legal and professional issues affecting education workers. The following PRS Matters Bulletins pertain to issues specifically related to gender-based violence and sexual harassment:

ETFO offers its members focused training workshops, conferences, curricular units and programs addressing the topic of violence against women and related gender-based issues.

  • Healthy Masculinities Conference: Planting the Seeds of Healthy Masculinities is a conference for grade 6 through 8 boys, that explores healthy ideas of being a young man, understanding peer pressure, and violence and gender stereotypes. This initiative is a joint partnership between selected elementary schools, their teacher local, the White Ribbon Campaign and ETFO.
  • Drawing the Line on Sexual Violence: ETFO, in partnership with White Ribbon and the Ministry of Education, has developed Draw the Line Curriculum, an online curriculum resource guide for educators. It provides concrete examples of how to support the development and maintenance of positive relationships amongst students, based on their gender and intersectional identities.
  • Body Image Project: Reflections of Me…ETFO's Body Image Curriculum is a research-based resource that assists teachers in ensuring that children develop positive body image and self-esteem. The resource can be purchased from shopETFO.
  • November/December – Antiviolence Focus: ETFO has compiled a series of resources and informational documents to highlight and bring to the surface issues of gender-based violence through the November and December Anti-violence Campaigns. Many of the suggested resources and activities address the discussion on woman abuse and sexual harassment all year round.
  • March 8 – International Women's Day: ETFO features resources, activities and information to highlight women's history, celebrate women's accomplishment and bring to the surface current issues specific to women. The link provides key resources and direction to support the discussion on gender-based violence and sexual harassment.
  • ETFO LGBTQ Rights In Your Workplace Pamphlet: ETFO strives to make schools and workplaces safe for Two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (2SLGBTQ+) Federation members.
  • LGBTQ Education Timeline: Both the poster and the booklet cover a number of different types of Homophobic harassment and issues.
  • Social Justice Begins With Me: This curriculum resource has picture books and lessons on gender, harassment and discrimination related to Gender. See the book lists on Gender and LGBTQ.
  • Women's Equality Project: The Women’s Equality Project - Digital Kit, includes a teacher resource guide and seven modules on a USB which enables students to explore economics and the workplace, education, gender-based violence, health, politics and the law, pop culture and the arts and social movements.The resource can be purchased from shopETFO.