Edmonton

Alberta school boards given March deadline for LGBTQ policies

In a letter sent Thursday to the board chairs of all public, separate, francophone and Catholic schools, Eggen said he wants evidence of policies to provide a supportive, caring, respectful and safe learning environment for each student, as required under Alberta law.

Education Minister David Eggen sent letter to every Alberta school board

Education Minister David Eggen has set a deadline for all francophone, charter, public and Catholic schools boards to get a gender and sexual orientation policy in place. (CBC )

Alberta Education Minister David Eggen has directed all Alberta school boards to have a policy supporting LGBTQ students in place by March 31, 2016.

In a letter sent to the board chairs of all public, separate, francophone and Catholic schools, Eggen said he wants evidence of policies to provide a supportive, caring, respectful and safe learning environment for each student, as required under Alberta law. 

Eggen said he also wants policies and procedures helping students set up gay-straight alliances and queer-straight alliances, if students ask for one.

"It is meant to ensure that every board has a policy and regulation or procedure in place should a student request that an alliance be established in his or her school," he wrote in the directive issued Thursday.

He said that staff from his ministry will contact each board to lay out what he expects to see in their regulations and policies.

Eggen spoke out in September after trustees on the Edmonton Catholic school board fought openly over a draft policy on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The day after the meeting, Eggen said he wanted trustees to behave professionally and that he expected them to pass a policy that complies with Alberta law.

The Edmonton Catholic trustees passed first reading of a draft policy last month. The board is now collecting public input before sending it back for second reading.

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