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115: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identities

1.0 POLICY

The Board believes in the importance of and is committed to establishing and maintaining a welcoming inclusive, equitable safe and healthy learning and working environments that respect diversity and foster a sense of belonging for members of the school community. This includes students, staff, and families who identify or are perceived as two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, gender fluid, or those who are questioning their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression (2SLGBTQ+). The Board expects that all members of this diverse community be welcomed, respected, accepted and supported in every school and workplace.

All members of the school community and those employed by the Board have the right to learn and work in an environment free from prejudice, harassment and discrimination.  This right is guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Alberta Human Rights Act and Alberta Education Act.  As such, these rights are to be supported and enforced so that all members of Sturgeon Public Schools may work together in inclusive, equitable, safe, healthy and respectful environments.

The Board believes that all 2SLGBTQ+ students, staff and families have the right to have:

  • their confidentiality protected and respected,
  • self-identification and determination; and
  • their unique identities, families, cultures and communities included, represented, valued and respected within all aspects of the school environment.

2.0 DEFINITIONS

Definitions: For the purposes of this policy the most current definitions can be accessed at the following link:

GSAs and QSAs in Alberta Schools: A Guide for Teachers

Sexual and Gender Minority Terms and Definitions:

https://www.teachers.ab.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/ATA/Publications/Human-RightsIssues/PD-80-6%20GSA-QSA%20Guide%202018.pdf

3.0 GUIDELINES

3.1 The Board is committed to establishing environments where all 2SLGBTQ+ students, staff and families have the right to:

3.1.1  be fully included and represented in an inclusive and respectful manner by all school personnel.

3.1.2  have equitable access to the same supports, services and protections provided to all students, staff and families.

3.1.3  have a mechanism by which to address harassment, prejudice, discrimination, intimidation, bullying and/or violence.

3.1.4  see their unique identities, families, cultures and communities are represented and valued in all facets of the school environment.

3.2 The Board believes that staff members are better prepared to respond to and support matters associated with sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression when they have the benefit of related education and professional development opportunities, as well as an awareness of, and access to, research and/or professional readings relative to this topic. The Board is committed to:

3.2.1  Supporting administration to develop, implement and evaluate inclusive educational strategies, professional development opportunities and administrative guidelines to ensure that sexual and gender student minorities and their families are welcomed and treated with dignity and respect in all facets of the school community.

3.2.2  Supporting principals and schools in implementing educational initiatives and developing school environments that respect the sexual and gender minority’s unique identity, families, cultures and communities.

3.3 The Board of Trustees may establish a task group or groups to provide input and recommendations relative to the implementation of Policy 115 - Sexual Orientation and Gender Identities.

3.4 The membership of any task group(s) may vary based on the identified goals and objectives established by the Board of Trustees relative to Policy 115  - Sexual Orientation and Gender identities. 

3.5  Prior to forming any task group(s) the Board of Trustees will identify: 

  • The specific objectives,
  • Membership representation,
  • Preferred timeline and
  • Reporting process for the task group(s).

4.0  The Board will comply with requirements established by the Minister.

References:

Policy 120 – Harassment Policy
Administrative Procedure: AP712 – Employee Conduct – Sexual Orientation and Gender Identities
Education Act: Sections 33 (2), (3), 35.1
Vision, Mission and Values Statement
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Alberta Human Rights Act
GSA’s and QSA’s in Alberta Schools: ATA
Guidelines for Best Practices: Alberta Government (2016)
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
Personal Information and Protection Act

History

2019 Mar 27 Initial Approval
2020 Jan 29 Amended
2021 Oct 27 Reviewed
2022 Jun 22 Amended