Red Deer Public values LGBTQ+ students, staff and families
Today, the Board of Trustees of Red Deer Public Schools reaffirmed its unequivocal support and commitment to LGBTQ+ students, staff and families.
Last month the Board voted against having a Division-wide Pride Week and voted in favour of having a Diversity Week understanding we are “Open to All”, recognizing our Division must be respectful and supportive of each diverse group and individual. The decision arrived at by the Board on Diversity Week is now in the hands of the Superintendent of Schools to move forward on implementation, working closely with our schools and the community to make this valued and meaningful.
Since then, the Board has received and appreciated many and a wide range of comments and opinions on the decisions. The decisions have also been part of discussions at School Council and City Wide School Council meetings.
During the Board’s meeting today, Trustees and Senior Administration heard four presentations from individuals requesting to share perspectives. As provided within policy, the Board chose to hear those presentations during its private meeting.
Following those presentations and discussion among Trustees, the Board reaffirmed its commitment to have a Diversity Week. The Board will not reconsider its decision on Pride Week.
Following their deliberations, all Trustees support the following motion to review the Board’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Policy, which has already received strong endorsement from champions of the LGBTQ+ community:
- The Board of Trustees directs the Superintendent of Schools to undertake a review of Board Policy 19 - Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and report to the Board.
Throughout all deliberations on these motions, Trustees, both individually and collectively showed genuine care, understanding and full support for LGBTQ+ students, staff and community. The Board of Trustees fully expects that our schools are safe and respected places for all students and staff. We recognize the true challenges faced by the LBGTQ+ community and that Red Deer Public must continue to prioritize this work.
Included within the current SOGI Policy is the provision for schools to have events and activities to support members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community. This already includes the ability for schools to host Pride weeks and events. Some schools, in response to this opportunity, are undertaking plans to do so this year.
The Board's intention in approving the review of an already strong policy is to ensure the policy is highly responsive to the challenges and opportunities of the LGBTQ+ community within school communities.
- This statement is sent to you on behalf of Red Deer Public Schools. Please attribute comments to Nicole Buchanan, Board Chair.
- For all media inquiries, please contact Community Relations:
- Erin Black at 403-348-6475 or
- Bruce Buruma at 403-352-2827.