Edmonton Catholic School Board releases draft LGBTQ policy
Edmonton Catholic's draft policy short on specifics
The Edmonton Catholic School Board has released a draft of its new policy to support and protect students, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
The document, which is less than a page and a half long, promises an environment free of discrimination of any type, including gender identity and expression.
"All children are unique, loved by God, and created in God's image," the document reads. "As such, all human beings are inherently sacred and must be treated with dignity and respect."
Last year, an Edmonton transgender student's request to use the girl's washroom at her Catholic elementary school pushed the issue of gender inclusive policies into the spotlight.
The seven-year-old girl was originally told she had to use a single-stall washroom at the school. But the principal relented after a public outcry.
However, the child's mother said the decision should not be left with individual principals.
Since then, Education Minister David Eggen has issued 21-pages of guidelines to help all Alberta school boards draft mandatory new LGBTQ policies.
The guidelines include policies to allow students to dress in clothing that reflects their gender identity and expression, and use the washroom they are most comfortable with.
The Catholic board's draft policy makes no reference to those specific requirements.
The school board will debate the policy on Tuesday night before it's submitted to the government.
Eggen said he will reserve judgement on the policy until then.
"I, of course, have expectations," Eggen said. "And all school boards know that they have to make sure that they protect all children equally."
Approximately one-third of all Alberta school boards have submitted their guidelines to the ministry. Eggen said he expects all board will do so before the March 31 deadline.
Eggen said he will work with any school board that has policies that don't conform to the government's guidelines.