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Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

OVERVIEW

Our Division promotes welcoming, inclusive, safe and healthy working and learning environments for everyone, regardless of a person's actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. We are proud to be the first school jurisdiction in both Alberta and the Prairies to develop a comprehensive stand-alone policy and administrative regulation to support sexual and gender minority (LGBTQ) students, staff and families.

In addition to our Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity policy and administrative regulation, we strive to provide sexual and gender minority groups with ongoing opportunities to engage with the school, one another and the community.

POLICY AND ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS

Policy: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (HFA.BP)
Administrative Regulation: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (HFA.AR)

INITIATIVES

Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA)

Division consultants provide guidance to support and sustain GSAs, including:

  • facilitating ongoing GSA professional development opportunities for staff advisers
  • collaborating with local community organizations to provide further support and guidance

Safe Contact Program

Every school has at least one staff member trained as a Safe Contact to:

  • consult, support and advocate for sexual and gender minority and questioning students and their families to feel safe, valued, respected and fully included in their school community
  • encourage these students and families to actively participate and positively contribute to their schools and communities without fear for their personal safety or wellbeing
  • share professional resources and information on sexual orientation and gender identity topics with staff, students and the larger school community

In-School Support

Division consultants support school communities in creating safe spaces and inclusive learning environments for all sexual and gender minority staff, students and families.

Resource Development

  • In collaboration with the Edmonton Public Library, we have compiled Recommended Fiction and Nonfiction Resources for K-12 Schools. A third edition will be released in Fall 2020.
  • Allyship is an important aspect of creating a welcoming, inclusive, safe and healthy learning and working environment for all. 

EVENTS

Alberta GSA Conference

The 8th annual Alberta GSA Conference was held in Calgary in November 2019 at Nelson Mandela High School. Students and teachers from across the province learned strategies to help create, support and sustain student GSAs and about LGBTQ youth issues through workshops and resource displays. The 9th annual GSA conference will be held at M.E. LaZerte High School in Edmonton during the 2020-21 school year.

Pink Shirt Day

On the last Wednesday of every February, a sea of pink sweeps across the Division as staff and students promote a safe, inclusive and supportive environment for all students regardless of their actual or percieved sexual orientation and gender identity, or gender expression. The national Pink Shirt Day initiative originates from a story of bystander empowerment, and has since spread across the country with millions of Canadians taking part each year. Here is our latest Pink Shirt Day poster.

Edmonton Pride Festival

Each June, as part of the Edmonton Pride Festival, Division staff and students walk in the Pride Parade, welcome guests to the Division information booth, or join in Pride Festival celebrations and events.

Pride at Edmonton Public Schools

At the Edmonton Public School board meeting on May 28, 2019, trustees voted unanimously to declare the first week of June each year to be Pride Week in the Division. Schools are encouraged to participate and show their support for LGBTQ2S+ students, staff and families. You can share messages of acceptance and pride using the hashtags #prideineducation and #EPSB on social media.

RESOURCES

These resources can be helpful for students, families and the community as a whole: