School officials say LGBTQ awareness needed in elementary schools

By Nigel Maxwell
September 7, 2018 - 12:00pm

Efforts by the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division to educate students about sexual and gender diversity appear to be expanding.

paNOW has learned that several local elementary schools now have a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer club (LGBTQ). The clubs are geared toward students in Grades 7 and 8. Superintendent of Schools Cory Trann said that as per a Ministry of Education initiative, all schools within the division have a staff representative who can provide support to students who may have questions.

"It's a support, it's educational, it's inclusive, it's ensuring all our students are feeling supported in the school, no matter what their questions are," he said.

Trann would not comment on which elementary schools have created the clubs, but said he had heard nothing but positive feedback.

"It's within our mandate from the Ministry of Education, and it suits the needs of our students," he said.

Troy Parenteau is the secretary with Prince Albert Pride, and a local teacher. He said having LGBTQ clubs within elementary schools is a good idea.

"We're finding out that kids dealing with gender diversity issues are realizing their gender issues at a younger age, and if the supports are not in place, then we are really failing that child," Parenteau said.

paNOW has been told the clubs themselves are open to all students, and not just those who may identify as being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer. Parenteau said the Gay-Straight Alliance has been a big part of Prince Albert since the 1990's.

"These clubs are not so much about sex," he added. "They are about identity and I think you can speak about identity at any level or age."

 

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