(Photo: Trustee Michael Janz with EPSB students & staff at Edmonton Pride Parade. Learn more about Pride Tape and stopping homophobia in sports )
I support GSAs and will never support "outing" vulnerable LGBTQ students.
Some candidates running for school trustee this election disagree, and want to "out" gay kids without their consent. They are supported by homophobic organizations who want to roll back the clock and undo the work we have taken building safe, caring, inclusive, and healthy learning environments.
It is important that all students feel welcomed at school, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, race, culture, socio-economic status, or any other factor.
All students must feel safe and cared for so that they can focus on learning and academic achievement. All staff are valued members of our school community and also deserve respect.
GSAs, or Gay-Straight Alliances, are peer-led groups where youth can support one another. They are undermined when confidentiality is not maintained.
I am a trustee and a parent who values parent choice and keeping informed. However, I know that some issues are easier for students to discuss with their peers. The vast majority of parents are loving, welcoming, and supportive and have strong communication with their children, but in the case that the student isn't ready to speak with their parents about LGBTQ issues, there could be dire consequences including homelessness or worse.
Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity is not a behaviour to be punished or a deficit to be fixed no more than a child’s ethno-cultural background is. Furthermore, I support the current practice that EPSB staff will not refer students to programs or services that attempt to change or repair a student's sexual orientation or gender identity, such as reparative or conversion therapy. This is not only unethical, it is wrong and harmful.
I have made my position clear. I support all students regardless of how they identify. I challenge all other School Trustee candidates to do the same.
Show your support. Sign the petition:
I support GSAs, student privacy, and continuing to forbid dangerous practices like “conversion/reparative” therapy in Edmonton Public Schools.