Public Interest Alberta has given Grande Prairie and District Catholic Schools a grade of D- on their gender identity policy submitted to Alberta Education, calling it “generic.” In its evaluation, the advocacy organization argues the guidelines don’t include any supports for gay-straight alliances, or protections for transgender or gender non-conforming students.
The school district has since for their mark be reviewed. Superintendent Karl Germann says that the group didn’t do their homework.
“We had said to Public Interest Alberta that we have three documents that support this policy and they only reviewed one of three. Obviously, they would have concerns because they never actually read the procedure 337 and 338 that supports students with accommodation. They are going back and taking a look at it today.”
He adds that although PIA wants parents to be kept out of the loop, GPDCS disagrees with that.
“We do support students and have been doing so for a long time. They continue to come to our schools regardless of how they identify with gender.”
The school division believes it has met all the guideline requirements set by the Minister of Education for the gender identity policy.
“Our board has the right to make their decisions and have their policies. We want to make sure kids are protected and cared for.”
Germann adds that he thinks there was a different agenda when coming up with the grades and it needs to be a fair evaluation.
PIA gave Red Deer Public School District No. 104 received an A plus on their report while the Lethbridge Public School District No. 51 received a B. Coming in behind the Grande Prairie catholic schools, the Greater St. Albert Roman Catholic Separate School District No. 734 received a failing grade of F.