Troubling time for Good Spirit School Division

Dear Editor:

There is a new, “Gender and Sexual Diversity” policy being drafted and rolled out to our schools. It states that “trans(gender)-positive content” will be taught in all subject areas and for all grade levels. Staff are required to follow this policy as a “Term and condition for employment”.

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I agree that every person, regardless of age, gender, sexual identity, race or religion should be treated with respect and kindness. This not only includes the LGBTQ+ students, but also staff, families, and individuals whose moral or religious values conflict with this new ideology. To actually be inclusive, policy cannot give superior rights to one minority group, while violating the religious rights and freedoms of others. 

Teachers cannot be required to teach what goes against their conscience or religious beliefs in order to maintain employment. The religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, along with others, hold traditional beliefs of biological gender. While students need to demonstrate tolerance and courtesy towards all, this differs greatly from the active promotion of library materials and LGBTQ+ content in every subject, which is being proposed. 

A work week in February is dedicated as Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week in the province, maybe the Ministry of Education, should offer those same individuals some job security; no one should be discriminated against because of their stand. Many families in our community share religious beliefs or other ideologies. Conditioning and socially engineering our children to the contrary totally undermines parental rights and trust. The policy further states, “A school should never disclose a student’s sexual orientation or gender status to the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) without the student’s explicit prior consent. This is true regardless of the age of the student.” I am very troubled that the GSSD is willing to withhold information from parents about our own children. Suggesting to children that the GSSD knows how to interact with them in times of need, better than their parents, who can’t be trusted with their information, further alienates, as well as undermines families and breaks trust. 

Is actively imparting values on our children that clearly contradict the religion of their parents within the authority and scope of our education system? There are many issues at stake when biased policies like this force conformity to one activist ideology through social engineering by teaching only the positive aspects of certain lifestyles without including facts about some of the challenges. According to the American College of Pediatricians, “as many as 98 per cent of gender confused boys and 88 per cent of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.” 

I believe teaching our children, according to this policy, that, “A student’s self-identification is the sole measure of the student’s gender” is both radical and confusing for children who are very impressionable, lacking the ability to make important decisions, especially at young ages. The part of a child’s brain required for judgement is not fully developed and thus they need their parents’ guidance. The policy allows children to use what ever washroom they self-identify with. This leaves the door open for teen-aged biological boys to be in the washroom with my upcoming kindergarten girl. I believe this lacks concern for the privacy and safety of our children which is both inappropriate and unacceptable. If the school division is truly interested in “safe” schools, I think they should start by building single stall washrooms for any person to use. Community members need to know what is going on in the schools. 

The truth is, people have differing opinions on topics such as parenting, politics, various lifestyles, and education, to name a few, and that is okay. People should be allowed to have differing opinions and to express dissenting views in a loving, respectful manner. Community silence implies acceptance of this policy. I strongly encourage parents and community members to take a stand to protect our children. Voice your concern with the GSSD and the Minister of Education by emailing minister.edu@gov.sk.ca. A form letter is available by emailing concernedgssd@gmail.com that you can simply print, sign and send to the Minister of Education. 

Brittney Omelchuk 

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