Author Topic: Winnipeg: Accommodating the transgender student  (Read 1170 times)

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Winnipeg: Accommodating the transgender student
« on: July 26, 2014, 09:44:43 am »
Accommodating the transgender student

Manitoba schools look to extend rights but none go as far as Vancouver's controversial policy

By: Nick Martin

When the Vancouver school board voted last month to recognize the rights of transgender students, there were security and police officers standing guard at the chamber doors.
Supporters with placards and rainbow-coloured flags tried to drown out detractors who shouted down trustees while they debated revisions to its gender-identities and sexual-orientation policies.

The firestorm was no different than the recent one in Manitoba when the government -- through Bill 18 -- proposed extending protection to students over sexual identity.
On one side were parents and members of the public fearing educators pushing their agenda; on the other were medical and other experts who argued the policy change was important and necessary.
When the smoke had cleared, Vancouver school trustees realized they needed both physical accommodation for transgender students, as well as visible support from the top allowing students to express their preferred gender identities.
"Not all the staff members understand what it meant to be supportive and inclusive," Vancouver school board chairwoman Patti Bacchus said in an interview with the Free Press. "(Transgender students) get harassed a lot in the washrooms because they don't look like the gender they're perceived."

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