Five polices in place, dozens more to go

On November 5, 2015 Education Minister David Eggen wrote a letter to all school boards, asking that each board submit policies and regulations or procedures that “address the board’s responsibility to ensure that each student enrolled in a school operated by the board and each staff member employed by the board is provided with a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment that respects diversity and fosters a sense of belonging. It is important to specifically address the board’s responsibility as it relates to the LGBTQ community.”

Subsequently, in January 2016 Alberta Education released the Guidelines to Best Practices document to help support school boards in drafting of the required policies.

According to a listing by Trans Equality Society of Alberta, there are currently only 5 out of just over 60 school boards in Alberta that actually have policies in place to specifically address LGBTQ needs.  These include Edmonton Public School Board, St. Albert Public Schools, Wolf Creek Public Schools, Fort McMurray Public Schools and Red Deer Public Schools. To access each of these policy documents, please see below, as well as the “Articles and Links” section of this site.

Considering dozens of districts are still drafting policies to submit prior to the March 31 deadline, it is vital that parents and members of the community be actively engaged in the wording of these policies to help ensure the best interests and safety of all students.

In districts that already have policies in place, please review the policies for yourself and ask for clarification from your school board if you have any questions or concerns.

SCHOOL BOARDS WITH LGBTQ POLICIES IN PLACE:

Edmonton Public School Board (EPSB)

– EPSB Overview, Initiatives, Events, Resources

– EPSB Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Policy

– EPSB Administrative Regulation

Fort McMurray Public Schools

Red Deer Public Schools

St. Albert Public Schools

Wolf Creek Public Schools

*If readers become aware of any additional policies in place, please email informedalbertans@gmail.com so I can update the links list.

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