Feb 2nd, 2016
Boys will use girls washrooms: new NDP gender “Guidelines” are mandatory not voluntary
CALGARY: The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms has received no response from Alberta Education Minister David Eggen about whether his new “Guidelines” will be voluntary for Alberta schools. Released on January 13, 2016, the Education Ministry’s “Guidelines” will require all schools in Alberta to:
- accept “self-identification” as the sole measure of a child’s sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression;
- allow boys to use the girls’ washrooms and change rooms, and to join the school’s girls’ sports teams, and other girls’ clubs and activities;
- allow girls to use the boys’ washrooms and change rooms, and allow a girl to join the school’s boys’ sports teams, and other boys’ clubs and activities;
- seek to eliminate the practice of having separate clubs, sports teams and other activities for boys and girls, and phase out the practice of separating students by gender;
- phase out use of the words “father,” “mother,” “him”, “her”, “Mr.” and “Mrs.” and instead use “non-gendered” language.
In response to Minister Eggen’s public statement that the Guidelines are “voluntary”, the Justice Centre contacted the Minister on January 18 to inquire what this “voluntary” claim will mean for Alberta’s schools. The Justice Centre’s follow-up letter, dated January 25, 2016 can be read here.
“If these new NDP guidelines are indeed voluntary, as claimed by the Education Minister, then he will provide a written assurance that a school or school board which refuses to implement the guidelines will not risk decertification, defunding, or other consequences,” stated Calgary lawyer John Carpay, president of the Justice Centre.
Alberta’s education system has been the most diverse in Canada, featuring partial or full funding for a wide range of parental choices, including public schools, Catholic schools, independent schools, alternative schools, charter schools, and home-schooling. Until the introduction and passage of Bill 10 in March of 2015, Alberta’s diverse schools and school boards enjoyed discretion and autonomy in developing and implementing their own methods and strategies for creating a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment.