The Enchanté Network stands with its members in defence of the rights of trans and 2SLGBTQI+ youth
The recent announcements from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education mandating parental permission for name and pronoun changes, as well as restricting the engagement and expertise of 2SLGBTQI organizations and sexual health organizations with boards of education, are both direct threats to the safety and wellbeing of all students and young people.
“It’s easy to forget that countless LGBTQ+ youth are still kicked out of their homes for being who they are,” says Tyler Boyce, Executive Director of The Enchanté Network. “For many, school is a sanctuary where they find acceptance, support, and a respite from the challenges they face at home.”
The Saskatchewan policy follows the recent changes made to Policy 713 in New Brunswick, and comes alongside statements made by the Manitoba Progressive Conservatives and Ontario’s Minister of Education Stephen Lecce saying that pronouns and name changes must be communicated with parents.
Further, the Saskatchewan policy directed boards of education to “immediately pause involvement” with both 2SLGBTQI+ organizations and sexual health education organizations, while conflating the two. As the voice of over 200 2SLGBTQI+ community organizations, The Enchanté Network strongly condemns these measures, and stands with ARC Foundation, an Enchanté member, in our concern “for the students, families, and educators who are impacted by these decisions”.
2SLGBTQI+ community organizations are important partners in creating inclusive environments, in schools and in the broader community. The explicit targeting of organizations focused on student safety and inclusion is dangerous and precedent setting, and plays into reckless anti-2SLGBTQI+ rhetoric that has been contributing to a growing climate of hate towards queer and trans communities and individuals.
“Our communities and our rights are not political footballs. We are valuable, brilliant, and important contributors in our communities, be they schools, cities, and beyond,” Tyler shares. “2SLGBTQI+ community organizations are key collaborators in healthcare, housing, and education, and should be respected and recognized for their contributions, and not denigrated by our governments and institutions.”
The Enchanté Network joins Fierté Canada Pride in calling for the immediate pause and reversal of the new Saskatchewan ‘Parental Inclusion and Consent’ policy, and redirect efforts into deep community engagement with 2SLGBTQI+ communities, educators, and parents. We also call for the reinstatement of relationships and collaboration between boards of education and community partners, including 2SLGBTQI+ organizations and sexual health education organization partners.
We urge our members, stakeholders, and community partners to join us in calling on the Saskatchewan government to repeal this policy and protect trans and 2SLGBTQI+ youth. Together, we can continue to create a safer, just, and equitable society in schools, Saskatchewan, and across Canada.
To voice your concerns:
Dustin Duncan, Minister of Education, Saskatchewan – firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Moe, Premier of Saskatchewan – email@example.com
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Jyssika Russell (They/She)
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