Public Interest Alberta has rated some of the sexual orientation and gender identification policies submitted by Alberta school boards, as required by the province.
The lobby group’s Joel French explains how they choose the four boards that they studied in depth. “We picked ones that were geographically in different parts of the province. Two of them were public boards, two were Catholic ones. We also picked some that were better than others. One that was ideal, and one that was among the worst that we could find. We also showed two in the middle, to show what was out there.”
The board given an A Plus in openness, protection, and other factors was the Red Deer Public School Board.
The Lethbridge Public Board got a B, where the Grande Prairie and District Catholic Schools got a D minus.
The board given an F was the St. Albert Catholic School District.
The University of Alberta’s Dr. Kristopher Wells, Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Policy Studies, says “The policy from the St. Albert Catholic School Board includes a call to chastity as a solution. It’s embarrassing and inappropriate in 2016. Many other elements of this policy are also deeply concerning and may contravene government legislation.”
Public Interest Alberta says it’s concerned that some boards are not being open about their policies. French says while every board has submitted a policy, some are burying them on their websites. “Transparency is a hallmark of public accountability. As students are returning to school, they and their parents have a right to know what policies their school boards have put in place to support and protect them.” (eb)