July 16, 2014 9:25 pm
Updated: November 18, 2014 6:49 pm

Vancouver Catholic schools adopt transgender policy, a Canadian first


WATCH ABOVE: Vancouver’s Independent Catholic Schools issue an apology to a young transgender student and her family. Kylie Stanton has the story.

A human rights complaint launched by the family of a transgender B.C. girl has resulted in the first-ever policy by a Catholic school board in Canada on transgender students.

Tracey Wilson was born a boy but now identifies as a girl. She was attending Sacred Heart, a a semi-private Catholic School in Vancouver.

When Tracey asked to use the girl’s bathroom, the school said “no.”

Her parents launched a human rights complaint against Catholic Independent Schools Vancouver and Sacred Heart Elementary. It was the first time a school board went in front of a tribunal for transgender issues.

Tracey’s story was profiled by Global News 16×9 in 2013.

WATCH: 16×9’s “Gender Identity” featuring Tracey Wilson

Story continues below

Now, the Catholic Independent Schools of Vancouver Archdiocese has released a policy on transgendered students, called “CISVA Elementary School Policy regarding Gender Expression and Gender Dysphoria.”

The new policy states “Where a request for accommodation is received on the basis of gender dysphoria or gender expression, the administrative staff should respond in a prompt and supportive manner, and in accordance with the principles outlined in this policy.”

It says students have the right to be addressed by their preferred name – even if they don’t legally change their name. School records will also be amended to reflect any changes.

The policy also states “whenever possible, administrators should aim to keep students who engage in gender non-conforming behaviours or who experience gender dysphoria at their original school site.”

Schools should also “provide access to a private washroom for use by any student who desires increased privacy,” and “a private changing area for the use of any student who is uncomfortable using the common changing facility, whether such discomfort is related to gender dysphoria, gender expression, or another reason.”

Dress codes will also have room for some flexibility under the new policy.

“Upon receipt of a written request by a student’s parents/guardians in the attached form, a school shall provide an alternative uniform for that student, in designated school colours. The alternative uniform shall be determined in collaboration with the student’s parents and the school administration.”

In addition, gym classes will no longer be segregated on the basis of sex, according to the policy.

“Physical education activities and intramurals shall not be segregated by sex, unless there are safety concerns.”

To read the full policy, see below:





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