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POLICY 622: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Review

Media Release: Policy 622

MEDIA RELEASE
Medicine Hat Public School District No. 76

Medicine Hat Public School District No. 76 is currently reviewing its Policy 622: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Trustees are attending School Council meetings to receive feedback regarding the policy. As well, the Council of School Councils has asked each School Council for their responses to the policy. So far, the feedback has been supportive of the Board and of Policy 622.

It is important to note that in regard to policy development, the Board of Trustees must adhere to the following principles:

  1. THE BOARD MUST OBEY THE LAW
    Board members take an oath to uphold the laws and Ministerial Orders of the government. Trustees do not make the laws, but are bound to establish policy that is consistent with them. To defy the law is a criminal act; betrays the oath taken, and is a complete disservice to the constituents represented. Policy 622 is written to comply with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Alberta Human Rights Act, as well as the Alberta School Act. Essentially, the policy serves to prevent discrimination, prejudice and harassment for all students, including on the basis of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity.
     
  2. THE BOARD REPRESENTS ALL STUDENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES
    Public School Trustees are elected to represent every student in the community; particularly those of their electorate. Occasionally, there are students and families that have extraordinary needs and requirements. The Board does its best to accommodate those needs without sacrificing the needs of others. Generally, the Board is able to provide these supports, accommodations and protections without undue compromise.
     
  3. THE BOARD VALUES INFORMED INPUT FROM ALL PARTNERS IN DEVELOPING
    The Board, or members of the Board, meets with student representatives, School Council members, Council of School Councils and members of the public to seek input into the development of Policy, particularly with respect to Policy 622. Members of the public may make a request to meet with the Board through the Superintendent in order to provide input into policy development POLICY.
     
  4. THE BOARD HAS A BUILT-IN CONSULTATIVE PROCESS FOR POLICY DEVELOPMENT
    The Coordinating Committee provides Policy Review for the District. This committee includes a representative from the Council of School Councils. Every school in the Division has a School Council, each of which appoints a representative to the Council of School Councils. Provincially, this is a rather unique arrangement that affords parents access to the Division’s policy development through their School Council and Council of School Councils.