Page 9 - March 7 2016
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THE ANCHOR, MONDAY, MARCH 7, 2016 PAGE 9

The solar electricity hype
Public School LGBTQ policy remains under review


by Adrienne Tait segregation of one portion of the student population, and the policy singles out the LGBTQ community.
rather than inclusion as was intended, as well as the Trustee Fate said he spoke with a physician that saw
The draft policy of the LGBTQ – Sexual Orientation, potential for other groups seeking similar identifying a single group as a red flag.
Gender Identity and Gender Expression, developed by a acknowledgement. Parental notification was identified as a potential
committee of GYPSD staff and administration Some trustees believed the safe and caring school issue. Trustee DeMong said, “There is a difference
representatives, is going back to committee of the administrative procedure if adopted as policy would between when a kindergarten kid self identifies and
whole. This is, in part, due to an apparent shift in what cover both the provincial requirements and be more when an 18 year old self identifies. The parents are not
blind view the minister of education is requiring as well as for inclusive. included. What right do we have to say parents are not
further discussion on wording.
Trustee DeMong said she would like to hear from a
to be involved? This says all kids. We're not going to
The province has requested that all changes be
approved by school boards by March 31, 2016. student representative from a high school gay-straight tell the parents and I have a big problem with that. We
alliance to speak to the policy.
ask parents to be involved with everything else and then
window in response to the province's request to align with its clarification that the minister said this must be a all of a sudden we are saying you can't be involved in
“I find I am going back to the beginning. I needed
The policy was developed from each of the five zones,
this?”
Guidelines Best for Practices: Creating Learning
standalone policy. At the beginning it was a must, and
Student safety and individual situations, including
fashions Conservative Environments that Respect Diverse Sexual now it is not a must but a recommendation. If that is so, support or lack thereof from family, would be
I struggle that this has to be a standalone policy. I look
Orientations, Gender Identities and Gender
considerations in the level of parental notification, “It's
at our administrative procedures 3:10 of our safe and
Expressions.
not universally liked wording but that is why we have
iews standalone policy was required by Minister Eggen and caring schools and I am challenged with what don't we case by case,” said deputy superintendent Ewen
When first announced the school board believed a
have with this, that needs to be there? And why don't we
Murray.
Alberta Education but since then the minister has
look at that, and our definition of diversity, and our
The policy will move to committee of the whole for
Guest Column by Clyde Corser
spoken publicly about accepting the safe and caring
revise what needs to be revised so that all kids are
policies from other school divisions. existing policy that is for safe and caring schools, and further discussion and will return to the regular board
meeting table in two weeks.
January 4, January 25 feedback to the proposed policy. whether it is one kid or a group of ten, and I am not sure policy and have it submitted for approval was met with
included. I think there is a danger when we elevate,
In February the GYPSD board asked for public
The short timeline given by the province to develop a
In addition the draft policy was posted on the
they want that attention,” said DeMong.
a level of frustration.
division's website with a request for feedback via email. Trustee DeClerq spoke in favour of moving forward
February 15 Many of the concerns stemmed from the provincial with the standalone policy and said, “The majority of Blind View
guidelines and weren't related to the specific policy.
the people are quite happy with the policy. In fact my
In response to concerns received from the public the
preference would be to go further with the policy. I
Conservative
March 7, 28 iews school division released an FAQ document on February think we have undermined some of the intentions by Window Fashions
25 (see below).
watering it down a little bit using case to case basis.”
Some concerns raised included a request for more
Trustees Stitzenberger and Zaporoky expressed
concerns about the standalone policy and that the
inclusive language, the ability to self- identify,
April 18 Guest Column by Clyde Corser clarification or removal of the glossary of terms, and minister is perceived to have waffled on his original Custom Window Treatments
since 1988
approval of the availability of a single occupancy
stance.
gender neutral washroom.
Trustee Stitzenberger said he sees potential for the
A key discussion point at the March 2 meeting was
policy to be “open to interpretation by principals” and
May 9, 30 Summers Drilling W whether or not having a standalone policy resulted in a that the majority of students don't want to be singled out, 780.723.5734 Julie Van Ember
blindvw@gmail.com
780.542.0898
Frequently asked questions for parents/guardians
Summers Drilling Water Well Drillingater Well Drilling
June 20 Drilling specializes in water well drilling and water FAQ#1 Why are there special guidelines for this one staff to discuss the student's gender identity and to request
A proud Alberta business, since 1917, Summers
A proud Alberta business, since 1917, Summers
Drilling specializes in water well drilling and water
July 11 well repairs. particular group? an Also Known As (AKA) name change (preferred name). "mother/father" and gender specific pronouns?
well repairs.
Yes. School staff can still use the words "mother" or
Sexual orientation, gender identity and gender
Note: the legal name cannot be changed in the Official
"father" or refer to people using the pronouns he/him and
expression are protected rights under the Alberta Human
Student Record until it is legally changed with Alberta Vital
she/her. The guidelines suggest that staff be thoughtful
Rights Act. Additionally, Bill 10 and the new Provincial
Statistics.
when using terms like mother and father. Examples may
August 1, 22 Guidelines released on January 13, 2016, direct school washrooms and change rooms? include "Everyone please take your pictures home to your
FAQ#6 Which students will have access to which
boards to have policies and practices in place to protect the
family" or "Everyone please take your pictures home to
rights of LGBTQ+ students, families and staff, and to
your parents or guardians". This is inclusive language that
Included in our new draft policy is the assurance that all
enhance the safety of and learning conditions for LGBTQ+
reflects the diversity of family life we know our students
school facilities will also have a gender-neutral, single
Sept. 12 students. occupancy washroom available with appropriate signage to have. For example, many of our students live with
FAQ#2 What are the new Guidelines for Best
for those students wishing privacy to use the facilities and
grandparents, other family members, have foster parents,
Practices: Creating Learning Environments that Re-
for those wishing to change in privacy for physical
etc. Likewise, if a person identifies as male or female we
spect Diverse Sexual Orientations, Gender Identities
will still use he/him and she/her pronouns.
education classes. If students in Grande Yellowhead schools
4405 50 streeteet
780-963-1282
780-963-1282
October 3, 24 4405 50 str www.summersdrilling.com.summersdrilling.com and Gender Expressions? do not wish to use the
In January, 2016, Alberta Education released new
washroom or change room
Stony Plain, AB
Stony Plain, AB
guidelines for school boards to use in creating their own
www
identified with their biologi-
policies/guidelines to support lesbian, gay, bisexual,
transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) students, cal sex, access to gender- THIS WEEK’S FEATURE
neutral, single occupancy
November 14 families and staff. All school boards in Alberta are directed facilities are available.
to use these guidelines to inform their own
Consideration is always
policies/guidelines by March 31, 2016. Note: If you have
specific questions/concerns about the provincial guidelines, given to the safety and Mint Homes Ltd.
privacy of all students
December 5, 26? GYPSD policy mean for my school and my child? involved.
please contact Alberta Education directly.
FAQ# 3 What will the new guidelines and a new
FAQ#7 How will access
The provincial guidelines share best practices for boards
sports be handled?
to consider when drafting specific policies and/or to physical education and
procedures for their school communities. Although our Students are currently
Board felt it important to draft a specific policy to support permitted to participate in
LGBTQ+ youth in light of the real challenges they sex-segregated recreational
experience, we will continue to support all our students, or competitive athletic activ-
families and staff in a manner consistent with building safe, ities in accordance with their
respecting, welcoming and caring environments for all. In self-declared gender
particular, to acknowledge the right of students to self- identity. This is fully
identify, the right to form Gay-Straight Alliances in schools supported by the Alberta
as mandated per the Guidelines, and to have access to a S c h o o l s ' A t h l e t i c
gender-neutral space, identify a safe contact at the school Association in their 2015-
for those youth at risk, and have their confidentiality and 2016 Policy Handbook. As
privacy protected. noted previously, changing
FAQ#4 What information will be shared when a one's gender identity at
student makes a disclosure? school is a thorough process.
Grande Yellowhead always encourages our staff to Transgender and gender
engage in open communication with parents/guardians non-conforming students 1078 Sq.Ft. Bungalow ; Cozy open floor plan not usually found in homes
about the education, health and well-being of their children. and their parents/guardians this size. 2 bedrooms, with 3 pc ensuite and walk-in closet off Master
We firmly believe that learning is enhanced by are typically involved in bedroom, Main floor laundry, Dinette has a bay area with a french door
parents/guardians and school staff communicating and conversations with school giving access to side deck, Unique kitchen plan with a walk-in pantry,
working together thus we encourage collaboration between staff about access to physical
the school and home as much as possible. education classes and sports both kitchen & dinette have an open view to large living rm with a gas
Some LGBTQ+ students are not open about their sexual t e a m s . Ve r y c a r e f u l fireplace, access to attached garage from front entry, covered front
or gender identity. Given the sensitivity related to one's consideration is given to veranda, Full undeveloped basement. Plan: 2008701
gender identity and sexual orientation, GYPSD staff what team the student plays Design@edesignsplans.ca
members will engage in thoughtful and considerate on, and what information is
discussions with the students identifying as LGBTQ+ to shared with the coach, other Member of National Home Warranty Program
provide resources and supports that may be needed for them team members, etc. This is a
and their families. thoughtful process. A male
FAQ#5 What names can students use? student cannot simply Phone: 780-723-2330
Grande Yellowhead believes that honouring student declare he is female and sign
requests regarding their preferred name is an important part up for a girls' sports team, Fax: 780-723-5068
of helping them feel supported and accepted. Upon request, and vice versa. Email: minthome@telusplanet.net
students and their parents/guardians can meet with school FAQ#8 Can we still use
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