A new report from Public Interest Alberta provides a policy model that school boards can adopt to support sexual orientation and gender identity. (File photo by BLACK PRESS)

A new report from Public Interest Alberta provides a policy model that school boards can adopt to support sexual orientation and gender identity. (File photo by BLACK PRESS)

Deadline for LGBTQ school policy approaches

Report identifies problems

Some school boards may have more work to do than others when it comes to their policies to support LGBTQ students, staff and families, says the author of a new report.

Public Interest Alberta’s Progress Report on LGBTQ Policies of Four Alberta School Boards showed policy problems with each jurisdiction — Westwind School Division and Christ Redeemer Catholic Schools in Southern Alberta, Buffalo Trail Public Schools in Eastern Alberta, and Edmonton Catholic Separate School District.

Kristopher Wells, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Alberta who did the review, said each of the boards’ policies were inadequate, often vague, ambiguous, and hard to access.

“These policies are very hard to find on district websites so we’re really glad the ministry has made that a requirement, that these policies are clearly and prominently displayed on district websites, as well as the links being shared in the schools,” Wells said on Wednesday.

He said most of the policies and procedures in the review were not fully updated to satisfy Bill 24 and did not explicitly protect the privacy and confidentiality rights of LGBTQ students. Supports for gay-straight alliances and queer-straight alliances were not clearly supported.

“Students and parents shouldn’t need lawyers to figure this stuff out. It’s too important for school boards not to get it right.”

He said many boards do have good policies. In a previous report policy from Red Deer Public Schools was reviewed and found to be one of the exemplary school districts for its work to support sexual orientation and gender identity.

“Even Red Deer will have some adjustments to make in their policies because the legislation is quite specific as to what needs to be in policies.”

Wells said the review includes a model that school boards can adopt to meet legislative and legal requirements.

“We’ve done the work for the boards. We tried to do a bit of the homework and the heavy lifting.”

After June 30 when all the policies are required to be publicly posted, Public Interest Alberta will review policies from each of the 61 boards.

“Our goal is to create the very best policies possible to ensure that LGBTQ students, staff and families are fully included, supported and valued in their school communities.”

School boards have until March 31 to prepare their policies.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Rebels forward Ethan Rowland battles with Medicine Hat Tigers forward Brett Kemp during WHL action at the Centrium Saturday night. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers claw back, hand Rebels 11th straight loss

Tigers 5 Rebels 2 The same old issues continue to plague the… Continue reading

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
AstraZeneca vaccine is ready to be used at a homeless shelter in Romford, east London, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Frank Augstein
AstraZeneca-linked blood clot confirmed in Alberta

A case of an AstraZeneca-linked blood clot has been confirmed in Alberta,… Continue reading

The Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools Board of Trustees selected the name St. Lorenzo Ruiz Middle School to be built in the north end of Red Deer. (Photo Courtesy of  Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools)
Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raises about $8,720 for Terry Fox Foundation

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raised about $8,720 for the Terry Fox… Continue reading

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Alberta declines Ontario’s request to send health-care workers

Alberta is “not in a position” to send health-care workers out of… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools will not pilot the new draft curriculum at its elementary schools. (File photo contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)
UPDATED: Red Deer Public Schools says no to piloting new curriculum

Alberta Teachers’ Association support school boards

Ontario Premier Doug Ford points on a COVID-19 caseload projection model graph during a press conference at Queen's Park, in Toronto, Friday, April 16, 2021. Ontario was set to backtrack on controversial new police powers to enforce stay-at-home orders implemented in the battle against COVID-19.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ford backtracks on new police COVID-19 powers amid intense backlash

TORONTO — Furious criticism of new anti-pandemic powers that allow police in… Continue reading

The official program for the National Commemorative Ceremony in honour of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, sits on an empty pew prior to the ceremony at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa on Saturday, April 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prince Philip remembered as ‘a man of great service’ during Canada’s memorial service

Canada’s commemorative ceremony in honour of the late Prince Philip offered a… Continue reading

CF Montreal head coach Wilfried Nancy speaks to his players during the team's practice Tuesday, March 16, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
CF Montreal puts on a show, defeating Toronto FC 4-2 in MLS season opener

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — CF Montreal, carving open Toronto FC’s defence, cruised… Continue reading

Demonstrators using umbrellas as shields approach a point in a perimeter security fence during a protest over the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright during traffic stop, outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department, Friday, April 16, 2021, in Brooklyn Center, Minn. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Journalists allege police harassment at Minnesota protests

Some journalists covering protests over the police fatal shooting of Daunte Wright,… Continue reading

A container ship is docked in the Port of Montreal, Wednesday, February 17, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Montreal dockworkers begin weekend strikes as talks drag on

MONTREAL — Dockworkers at the Port of Montreal kicked off a series… Continue reading

Brad Dahr, 53, is facing numerous charges. (Photo contributed by Alberta RCMP)
Alberta man charged for alleged sexual offences against children

An Edmonton man has been charged for alleged sexual offences against children… Continue reading

A person walks past a COVID-19 mural designed by artist Emily May Rose on a rainy day during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, April 12, 2021. Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off the job or coming into work while knowingly sick could warrant discipline in the workplace. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Risky pandemic behaviour off the clock could mean workplace discipline: lawyers

CALGARY — Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off… Continue reading

Vials containing Russia's Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 are seen at the San Marino State Hospital, in San Marino, Friday, April 9, 2021.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Antonio Calanni
China, Russia using their COVID-19 vaccines to gain political influence

OTTAWA — China and Russia have been using their locally produced COVID-19… Continue reading

Most Read