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.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Broadway sensation Neil Patrick Harris is hung on the famed walls of Sardi's

Tony winner's caricature joins more than 1,300 others inside the legendary eatery
No thumbnail available

Zachary Quinto "grateful" to be on Broadway in The Glass Menagerie

'I really am humbled by it often. I feel really grateful'
No thumbnail available

Obama declines to 'make news' on gay marriage in interview

President asked by Rolling Stone if he supports issue 'on a personal level' 
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

LGBT rights campaigners make Tasmania Upper House election all about marriage equality

Voters who go to the polls in three divisions in Tasmania on Saturday are urged to vote for marriage equality
No thumbnail available

Sikh parents speak out for LGBTI acceptance for the Asian Pride Project

Sikh parents Harcharan and Kamlesh Bagga have made a video for the Asian Pride Project in which they urge other Asian parents of LGBTI people to accept their children and fight for their right to equality
No thumbnail available

REVIEW: Folsom Forever

A reverential documentation of San Francisco's landmark leather festival
No thumbnail available

UK gay man dies after being 'mummified'

Bondage sex game goes wrong after a man suffocates while he was wrapped in cling film
No thumbnail available

Sam Smith thrilled to get five Grammy nominations before even getting out of bed

Openly gay singer will compete for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist and more
No thumbnail available

Adam Lambert's new album Trespassing debuts at #1 on Billboard charts

First openly gay singer to reach top spot in first week of release