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Your Views

April 5, 2016

Opposition to guidelines does not equal bigotry

Re: editorial “Myth-busting needed in LGBTQ ­debate,” March 8 ATA News

I’m surprised the ATA has taken such an opinionated stance in favour of the gender guidelines. While you make some good points, my main concern is whether Education Minister David Eggen will force all Alberta schools to adopt the guidelines. They do not reflect my perspective as a parent and, therefore, my right to choose the type of education my child receives is being threatened.

Everyone agrees all students should feel safe and cared for in their school. But if this were simply about antibullying programs, then there would be no debate. Such programs already exist in every school. This is more than simply keeping a small segment of the student population safe: these guidelines are intended to instil a gender theory ideology on the next generation, using schools as a platform. The idea that gender is merely a social construct, a feeling or thought, while denying the biological scientific reality of boys and girls, causes confusion. We should take a strong antibullying stance while caring on a case-by-case basis for the small number of students who question their gender identity.

Is what I just proposed considered hate speech? Those who advocate for LGBTQ rights have been quick to try to suppress any kind of discussion about the guidelines, hurling insults like “bigot” or “homophobic.”

I’m also concerned these guidelines will isolate vulnerable children from their parents, since schools must withhold information from parents unless children consent. In the editorial, it says, “The Code of Professional Conduct and Bill 10 provide legal frameworks that prevent teachers from outing students — even to their parents.” Can you specify the exact wording in these two documents preventing teachers from communicating with legal guardians about their child? This question is of great concern to many parents and requires a timely response from the ATA.

While there may be some difficult conversations, most parents — including my husband and me — would reaffirm their love for their child. A parent’s unconditional love always takes primacy. Some exceptional situations may prohibit full disclosure to parents, but we cannot create rules for everyone based on exceptions. We must place more trust in parents to ultimately do what’s best for their children than in government policy. I disagree with many elements of these guidelines, and the volume of ­opposition demonstrates that I am certainly not alone.

Sara Francis
Parent, co-organizer of the #FamilyFirstAB Twitter campaign, Calgary

Editorial conveys important message

Re: editorial “Myth-busting needed in LGBTQ ­debate,” March 8 ATA News

I wanted to say thank you a million times for your editorial clarifying and myth-busting — so important, especially with the intense fear-mongering and thick misinformation right now. I will be referring colleagues and parents to your piece.

Ashleigh Yule
Registered psychologist, member of the Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health Calgary


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