CONTENT WARNING: Transphobia, homophobia, discussion of suicide and suicidal thoughts
In a major victory for LGBTQ+ rights advocates, the Alberta Department of Education announced new guidelines on dealing with sexuality and gender in schools last week. The landmark new policy is the most comprehensive in Canada and sets a high standard for other provinces to follow.
Alberta’s new approach is especially pioneering on gender issues, as the Edmonton Journal details:
The new government guidelines say policies and regulations must “explicitly” protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirit, queer, questioning and/or gender-diverse students, teachers and family members. The document says all students have the right to be addressed by their chosen name and with pronouns that match their gender identity.
School dress codes should be revisited to ensure they don’t imply skirts can be worn only by females. Gender-segregated activities, including sports teams, should ensure students who are gender-diverse have the right to participate in activities congruent with their gender identity. Students should also be able to choose which washroom to use.
(If you’re interested, you can read all 12 of the guidelines in PDF form here.)
Though the policy released by the Alberta Department of Education is only a guideline, Education Minister David Eggen heavily insinuated that school boards which completely refuse to cooperate could find themselves in hot water: Continue Reading