Red Deer Public School’s board of trustees reaffirmed its commitment on Wednesday to have a district-wide Diversity Week, and will not reconsider its decision on Pride Week.
In February, the board was criticized by members and supporters of the LGBTQ community for defeating a motion put forward by a trustee to establish Pride Week, and passed a motion for Diversity Week instead.
Since then, the board has received many comments and opinions on the decision.
At Wednesday’s board meeting, the district said four presentations were made on the same topic during a private portion of the meeting.
At the same meeting, trustees went on to support a motion to review the board’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Policy, which has already received strong endorsement from champions of the LGBTQ community.
Board chair Nicole Buchanan said the board’s intention in approving the review of an already strong policy is to ensure the policy is highly responsive to the challenges and opportunities of the LGBTQ community within school communities.
Included in the policy is the provision for schools to have events and activities to support members and allies of the LGBTQ community. This already includes the ability for schools to host Pride Weeks and events.
Some schools, in response to this opportunity, are undertaking plans to do so this year, the district said.
“Throughout all deliberations on these motions, trustees, both individually and collectively showed genuine care, understanding and full support for LGBTQ+ students, staff and community,” Buchanan said in a statement.
“The board of trustees fully expects that our schools are safe and respected places for all students and staff. We recognize the true challenges faced by the LBGTQ+ community and that Red Deer Public must continue to prioritize this work.”