Transgender girl's human rights complaint against school division in Winnipeg resolved
River East Transcona School Division says it made revisions to its gender identity guidelines
The family of transgender elementary school student Bella Burgos and River East Transcona School Division have reached an agreement in a human rights complaint, ahead of a public hearing that was set for this July.
"Bella is doing great. She is ecstatic. We took the family out to celebrate last evening," said Elizabeth Burgos, Bella's mother. "We're celebrating just having that connection and moving forward, just knowing such goodness came out of a long year and a half."
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Elizabeth Burgos filed a complaint with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission in October 2014, alleging the division discriminated against her daughter, Bella, when she was refused access to the girls' washroom in her school.
"We had three goals going in — that was education, training and trans right guidelines. We got all three. For us, it's a win," Elizabeth said.
The Burgos family, which has since moved to British Columbia, also said the school division wasn't doing enough to stop bullying of Bella at school.
Even though the family no longer lives in Manitoba, Dale Burgos, Bella's father, said the fight goes beyond her.
"It is for individuals out there and that's why we wanted to continue this conversation," he said.
The division has made revisions to its gender identity guidelines to ensure transgender students and employees have equal rights, said Kelly Barkman, superintendent and CEO of the division.
"We're very happy and it's a critical reference point for us in moving forward in working for all students," said Barkman.
"It really does allow for transgender students to have the right to use the washroom they identify with and the guidelines, if you look at it, do get into things such as resources, professional development, not only for the staff but for the students."
The human rights tribunal scheduled for this summer has been cancelled.
The two parties have agreed to keep the details of the settlement confidential, the release said.
With files from Courtney Rutherford