New GSA legislation will open up discussions

New legislation allowing all students access to gay-straight alliances could open up discussions for the Red Deer Catholic Regional School District and other districts throughout the province.

New legislation allowing all students access to gay-straight alliances could open up discussions for the Red Deer Catholic Regional School District and other districts throughout the province.

Amendments to the Alberta government gay-straight alliance related legislation, Bill 10, proposed on Tuesday would enable all students to form a gay-straight alliance club. The amendment includes children in all Alberta schools — public, Catholic, private and charter.

Guy Pelletier, chair of the Red Deer Catholic Regional School District board, said on Tuesday that the school board has always strived facilitate inclusiveness and would abide by the legislation, should it be approved.

“We’ve had a commitment to safe and caring schools and inclusive environments, have always had and will continue to have,” said Pelletier.

“I’m not sure the amendments change that approach, but it’s probably a good conversation to have to help us formalize our thinking on not only GSAs, in terms of forming those, but any type of student group.

“If there are student groups feeling marginalized or bullied, if there’s ways we can do more to help them, then we’re happy to do that.”

Specifically, the board will formalize its thinking on how GSAs are created and how the board can facilitate inclusiveness.

“It’s a good chance to talk about the issues and make sure our students are supported,” said Pelletier.

The Red Deer Public School District is in the process of writing a formal policy that includes GSAs. The board directed administration to create comprehensive policy addressing the needs to sexual orientation and gender minorities.

On Tuesday, Alberta Education Minister Gordon Dirks announced an amendment to the bill that would allow students to establish GSAs in any Alberta school and members would be allowed to meet on school property.

The amendment replaces one proposed last fall that would have allowed GSAs off school grounds.

The alliances are peer-support groups for gay students that are meant to make them feel welcome and prevent them from being bullied.

A study by the University of British Columbia in 2008 showed that the odds of teens having suicidal thoughts are reduced by half in schools that have such groups in place.

Just Posted

Red Deer mall repurposes former Sears location

The Great Indoors Market at Bower officially launches Nov. 10

Red Deer-area businesses prepare for economic boost from Canadian Finals Rodeo

Hotels, restaurants, gift shops get ready for rodeo fans

Sylvan Lake considering banning charcoal barbecues in lakefront parks

Town council wants more information on concerns about charcoal barbecues and over-sized tents

Winter Games relocates its Volunteer Centre

Now open at Bower Place in Red Deer

UFA donates $500,000 to Olds College

Money will go towards an innovation lab and “smart farm”

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Coalition of consumer groups calls for new code of conduct for telecom sales

A new government-backed code of conduct is needed to protect consumers from… Continue reading

Canadian National Railway rakes in record revenues amid concerns over capacity

MONTREAL — Canadian National Railway Co. says it raked in the highest… Continue reading

Alberta Party candidates set for Red Deer

The Alberta Party will have candidates running in both Red Deer-South and… Continue reading

Montreal Alouettes defensive lineman Woody Baron co-authors children’s book

TORONTO — Woody Baron finds the spectre of tangling with a hulking… Continue reading

Sundin not surprised Leafs asking stars to take less money to stay together

TORONTO — Mats Sundin isn’t surprised the Toronto Maple Leafs are asking… Continue reading

Anywhere but Washington: Why DC stories rarely film in DC

WASHINGTON — It’s a hobby among District of Columbia locals: Picking apart… Continue reading

‘Halloween’ scares up $77.5 million in ticket sales

LOS ANGELES — Forty years after he first appeared in theatres, Michael… Continue reading

iPhone XR makes the right trade-offs for a cheaper price

NEW YORK — Apple offers you a simple trade-off with its new… Continue reading

Most Read