September 20, 2017 (Edmonton) – Anyone in a leadership position in Alberta, or anyone aspiring to lead, should have a clear plan to protect LGBTQ students and that position must be backed up by action, says Alberta Party leader Greg Clark.
“In tonight’s debate I expect to hear how, or if, the UCP leadership candidates plan to protect LGBTQ students,” said Clark. “And I expect more from the NDP as well.”
Clark called on Education Minister David Eggen to act immediately to ensure the identity of students who join a GSA is not disclosed without their consent.
“The Minister has the power to immediately issue a Ministerial order mandating all students who request or join a GSA will not have their participation disclosed without their consent,” said Clark. “Given the NDP’s stated position on this issue I’m frankly surprised they haven’t done so.”
Clark said it remains unclear whether all Alberta school boards have complied with the Minister’s order to create an acceptable GSA policy.
“All boards should be required to post their policies publicly so Albertans have confidence that GSAs will be embraced and LGBTQ students are provided the same support throughout Alberta,” said Clark.
Clark also wants to see legislative changes this fall.
“The Minister should bring amendments to the School Act this fall that will legislate membership in a GSA to be confidential. That should address this issue once and for all.
“It’s time for action. Minister Eggen should take away the carrot and use the stick for those boards that have yet to comply. And all UCP leadership candidates should clearly say where they stand on this issue, and how, or if, they plan to protect LGBTQ kids.”
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