'Not appropriate' to tell parents when kids join GSAs, Wildrose Leader Brian Jean says
Wildrose Leader contrasts with position outlined by PC Leader Jason Kenney
Wildrose Leader Brian Jean says it's not appropriate for teachers to notify parents when their child joins a gay-straight alliance, which contrasts with what PC Leader Jason Kenney said last week.
"It is the right thing to do," Jean said, adding that the law requires parental notification when sexuality or religion is taught as part of the school curriculum.
- Jason Kenney's views on gay-straight alliances called 'extremist' by Alberta education minister
- Alberta GSA organizers warn against outing LGBTQ students
But that rule doesn't apply to extracurricular school clubs like GSAs, he said. "I don't think it would be appropriate in the circumstances to do that. This is something that kids feel they can enjoy and be part of.
"Remember, the most important thing here, and the number one paramount decision, is the safety and security of children and to make sure they are in a loving and caring environment that is going to teach them a good education and protect them."
Last week, Kenney raised the ire of LGBTQ advocates for saying in an interview that parents should be notified if their child joins a GSA, unless the parent is abusive. He said parents have the right to know what is happening with their children in school.
But critics say such a provision could out LGTBQ students to their parents before they are ready to reveal their sexual orientation.
Kenney later clarified in a Facebook post that he doesn't want to out children to their parents. He said if he became Alberta premier, he wouldn't repeal the law that compels schools to allow gay-straight alliances if students ask for one.
The Wildrose and PC parties are currently in talks about forming a united conservative party.
Jean said he wouldn't comment on Kenney's views and said his own policy is formed by what Wildrose members want.
Calgary-Hays MLA Ric McIver, who is serving as PC leader in the legislature as Kenney doesn't have a seat, wasn't as clear on his position.
McIver deflected a number of direct questions from reporters asking whether he thought parents should be notified if their child wanted to join a GSA.
"We don't out gay kids," he responded each time.
"The leader said we don't believe in outing gay kids. He also said he believes in Bill 10 and he'll keep it in place when he's premier."