Students 312

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Background:

All students, staff and families have the legal right to receive educational programming and services free from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.   As a result, the Board is committed to establishing and maintaining a safe, inclusive, equitable, and welcoming learning and teaching environment for all members of the school community.  This includes those students, staff, and families who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit, queer or questioning their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.  The Board expects all members of this diverse community to be welcomed, respected, accepted, and supported in every school. The Board will, when possible, work with parents and caregivers to ensure the needs of students who identify in one of the categories listed above are dealt with in a confidential and respectful manner.

Procedure:

  1. The Principal shall ensure  that all sexual and gender minority students, staff, and families:
    1. Are treated fairly, equitably, and with dignity and respect;
    2. Have their confidentiality protected and respected;
    3. Have the right to self-identification and determination;
    4. Have the right to freedom of conscience, expression , and association;
    5. Are fully included and represented in an inclusive, positive, and respectful manner by all school personnel;
    6. Have equitable access to the same supports, services, and protections provided to heterosexual students and families;
    7. Have their unique identities, families, cultures, and communities included, valued and respected within all aspects of the school environment.
  2. The Principal shall:
    1. Implement professional development opportunities to ensure that sexual and gender minorities and their families are welcomed and treated with respect and dignity in all aspects of the school community;
    2. Ensure staff address all interactions involving the use of comments, behaviours and actions which display homophobic, transphobic, and sexist content, whether they occur in person or in digital forms;
    3. Ensure  that all discriminatory behaviours and complaints will be taken seriously, documented, and dealt with appropriately and in a timely manner through consistently applied policy and procedures;
    4. Ensure staff utilize language and educational resources and approaches that are inclusive, age-appropriate, and respectful of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions;
    5. Support the safety, health, and educational needs of students who identify as transgender or transsexual persons.  This includes but is not limited to:
      1. Names and pronouns – a student or staff member has the right to be addressed by a name and pronoun that corresponds to his or her consistently asserted gender identity.
      2. Official records and communication – when requested, the student’s official record will be changed to reflect their preferred name, gender, and pronouns.  All school forms and records shall be changed to ensure that a student’s preferred name and gender markers are current on class lists, timetables, student files, identification cards, etc.
      3. Field trips, athletics, locker rooms and washrooms – a student has the right to use the facilities and participate in field trips and team sports that corresponds to his or her consistently asserted gender identity.
      4. Gender-segregated activities – to the greatest extent possible, schools should reduce or eliminate the practice of segregating students by gender. In classroom activities or school programs where students are segregated by gender, all students should be given the option to be included in the group that correspond to their consistently asserted gender identity.
    6. Support the development of a positive space group for sexual and gender minority and questioning students (ex: Gay-Straight Alliance, Rainbow Alliance) at educational settings within the Division for the purpose of providing an inclusive, safe, and welcoming place for students to meet.  
    7. Ensure the principles of confidentiality, best interests of the child, maximum inclusiveness, and reasonable accommodation shall guide all decision-making processes.

References:

Criminal Code of Canada (1969)

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982/1985)

Canadian Human Rights Act (1996)

Revised 

December 2015

December 2017