The Saskatchewan government announced a trio of policies on Tuesday surrounding name and pronoun changes for students, the option to opt out of sexual health education, and third-party organizations' involvement in sexual health education.
The following policies, listed in a news release, are effective immediately:
- Schools must seek parent/guardian permission when changing the preferred name and pronouns used by students under the age of 16 in the school;
- Parents/guardians must be informed about the sexual health education curriculum and have the option to decline their children's participation; and,
- Boards of education must immediately pause involvement with any third-party organization, such as ARC Foundation and the SOGI 1 2 3 Program, connected to sexual health education as the ministry undertakes review of educational resources to ensure alignment with curriculum outcomes. Only teachers, not outside third-parties, will be able to present sexual education materials in the classroom. This directive does not include professionals employed by government ministries or the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
Education Minister Dustin Duncan said this came about thanks to concerns raised by parents about "needing to be notified and included in their children's education in these important areas."
"We also determined that while all of Saskatchewan's school divisions had policies dealing with these matters, those policies varied from one division to another, so it was important to standardize these policies and ensure consistency of parental inclusion, no matter where your child goes to school."
"Parent/guardian involvement is critical in every student's education," Duncan said. "Schools will continue to ensure safe learning environments where all students feel included, protected, and respected."
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