While the Vancouver School Board prepares for a looming teachers strike, and the uncertainty associated with a government-ordered partial lockout, it’s also taking on the mammoth task of updating its gender inclusion policies.
Following a public meeting that drew 40 speakers last week, an additional 23 speakers spoke tonight (May 22) to share their thoughts on the revisions that aim to reduce or eliminate the practice of segregating students by sex.
“We had a parent speak with her son, who is a trans gender student, they used the example of switching from the girls hockey team at Britannia, to the boys hockey team, to coincide with the student’s gender transition.”
Bacchus says gender is a continuum, and not as clear as some people may think.
The goal is to move away from gender-assigned activities.
“We hear again and again from families and from students that that can cause a lot of anxiety for students. We had a speaker tonight. who said their child at quite a young age looked and acted like a different gender than was assigned at birth, but when they were told to line up as boys and girls, went in the line they associated with their gender identity, and another student said, what are you doing in this line.”
Bacchus says many professionals are in favour of the revisions, but there is a group of angry parents waving placards at the meetings claiming parental rights would be violated.
A final decision is expected in June.