Local mother accuses Edmonton Catholic School Board of discrimination
WATCH ABOVE: An Edmonton mother is accusing the Edmonton Catholic School Board of discriminating against her transgender daughter by not allowing her to use the girl’s bathroom. Eric Szeto has the story.
EDMONTON – Parents want their children to be treated with respect and equality, especially in the school system.
A local mother is accusing the Edmonton Catholic School board of discriminating against her transgender daughter by not allowing her to use the girl’s bathroom.
The family doesn’t want to be identified but says their seven-year-old daughter recently transitioned and the school she attends has advised the little girl to use the all- gender bathroom instead.
A teacher at the school recently caught the seven-year-old in the girl’s washroom and told her she wasn’t allowed to use it.
It not only upset the little girl, it upset her mother.
“It’s not just for my daughter. It’s for every transgender child out there. These children have double the stressors in their life that as a gender child would have. I’m trying to eliminate any type of roadblocks for them,” says the girl’s mother.
“Sometimes when I actually, actually feel a girl and go in there that actually makes me feel like a girl,” says the seven-year-old. “When I have to use the everybody washroom it makes me sad.”
The young girl’s mother hopes the Catholic School Board amends its policies.
“These children have many issues they have to overcome and choosing a washroom and being outed by the school shouldn’t be one of them.” she says.
The city’s Catholic School Board says an all-gender bathroom meets the child’s needs.
“We feel by providing an all-gender washroom, we have met the needs to the best of our ability so we feel that is a good option going forward,” says Lori Nagy with the Edmonton Catholic School Board.
Gay rights advocates say the Edmonton Catholic School Board has taken the right steps by adding all-gender bathrooms but it doesn’t go far enough.
“It’s unfortunate we have to put a seven year old in the middle of what some people see as a debate rather than requirements of the law,” says Kris Wells, with the Institute of Sexual Minority Studies at the University of Alberta. “There is no question that not allowing this youth to use the bathroom of their gender identity that this school district is discriminating against them.”
Manitoba’s Human Rights Commission recently ruled against a Winnipeg school board for the very same issue.
The mother has filed a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission.
With files from Eric Szeto, Global News.
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