School boards across Alberta were expected to submit their gender identity policies last week.
As per new legislation, school boards must amend or create policies explicitly pertaining to LGBTQ students, with the goal creating safe and caring environments for all students. The deadline was Thursday, March 31st.
The Buffalo Trail Public Schools Regional Division, No. 28, was no exception. The Division encompasses schools from Provost to Marwayne and Kitscoty to Innisfree. Superintendent at Buffalo Trail, Bob Allen says their focus is always on the safety of the students.
“The first thing we did is we looked a couple of our significant board policies. That was board policy on Student Rights and Responsibilities and the second was The Workplace and Learning Environments. We saw those to be the drivers for any changes we needed to make to reflect the legislation,” explains Allen.
The procedures are meant to ensure Gay-Straight Alliances can be built in all schools, and that LGBTQ students feel comfortable in and outside of class.
Education Minister David Eggen says it’s been inspiring to see so much support for students and staff, but acknowledges there’s much work to be done as the province reviews each submission.