Nearly 600 Toronto schools introduce trans equality

Canadian schools will now ensure transgender equality for students and staff in new Toronto District School Board guidelines

Nearly 600 Toronto schools introduce trans equality
05 October 2012

The Toronto District School Board has introduced transgender equality guidelines into nearly 600 schools.

Local news site The Star says the policy states schools must keep a student’s gender non-conformity or transgender status confidential and should never disclose it to a parent or guardian without consent from the student.

According to TDSB spokesman Ryan Bird, the guidelines were created as a result of a student’s recent human rights complaint.

‘A student was experiencing some difficulties with accessing programs and services specific to his gender identity,’ he said.

The policy strongly suggests staff privately ask trans or gender nonconforming students at the beginning of the school year how they want to be addressed in school, and in correspondence to the home or at meetings with the parents.

Guidelines also state dress codes for such students should be flexible, so they do not have to choose between male or female clothing.

Bird says while many of the suggestions were in place anyway, official guidelines are now being distributed to all staff, and will also be posted on the school board’s website.

The announcement comes as New Democrat Randall Garrison wishes to introduce a bill which amends the Canadian Human Rights Act to stop discrimination based on gender identity.

However some, like Conservative Member of Parliament Rob Anders, have launched a petition against the trans equality bill.

Anders, the author of the petition, said the law’s true goal is to ‘give transgendered men access to women’s public washroom facilities.’

Helen Kennedy, executive director of LGBT rights group Egale, said not only Anders got his terminology wrong, but says he ‘obviously needs help’.

She said: ‘It’s so flawed even in how it’s presented. Anders would do better to spend his time educating himself and talking to people in his constituency who are transgendered.’

The bill passed a second reading last June and is set to go to a standing committee soon.



No thumbnail available

Anti-gay conservatives demand ABC nix Dan Savage-inspired sitcom

The Media Research Center and Family Research Council said more than 21,000 postcards have been sent and over 4,000 telephone calls have been made to get ABC to abandon the series
No thumbnail available

Gay CNN anchor Don Lemon calls actor Jonah Hill 'a tool'

Actor fires back via Twitter: 'Didn't realize you were a 12 year old girl'
No thumbnail available

Dan Savage thanks straight allies for gay marriage

Creator of It Gets Better campaign Dan Savage launches Straight Up Thanks, a photo website recognizing straight people who actively pushed for marriage equality in America's latest election
No thumbnail available

Minnesota House of Reps passes gay marriage bill in 75-59 vote

If also passed by the senate,  Minnesota would become first legislature in Midwest to pass marriage equality
No thumbnail available

Neil Patrick Harris Super Bowl ad 'pushes gay agenda'

Website accuses US television network of 'mocking' Christians by using openly gay actor to promote American football game
No thumbnail available

Rashida Jones to John Travolta: 'Come out!'

Parks & Recreation star wonders: 'How many masseurs have to come forward?'
No thumbnail available

Will Glasgow 2014 repeat Sochi’s gay nightmare?

The Commonwealth Games are inviting 41 countries which criminalize homosexuality to Scotland. We ask bosses if LGBTI issues will be on the agenda
No thumbnail available

Making gay sex legal is only first step to ending bigotry says activist

Caribbean and Kenyan activists tell World Pride conference in London that more education is needed to change hearts and minds of homophobes
No thumbnail available

WATCH: LGBT on agenda at Davos world business leader summit

Accenture, EY and HSBC leading conversation
No thumbnail available

Gays mourn the passing of legendary comic Phyllis Diller at age of 95

Diller: 'My  first audience were gay people because they have a great sense of humor'