June 19, 2017 7:01 pm
Updated: June 19, 2017 7:08 pm

Alberta needs binding, province-wide LGBTQ school policy: Liberal leader

A file photo of Alberta Liberal party leadership candidate David Khan.

CREDIT: Facebook/David Khan

Alberta’s Liberal leader says the province’s education minister needs to “show backbone” and come up with a binding LGBTQ policy for schools.

David Khan was reacting Monday to a December 2016  Alberta Health Services (AHS) report that found up to 22 per cent of school boards in the province may not have complete LGBTQ policies in place.

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A spokesperson for Alberta Health Services said the research was done in collaboration with Alberta school boards in order to create health-related policies and that the research will be used to create a “toolkit” that will be available online once the research is finalized in the fall of 2017.

Scroll down to read the Alberta Health Services report

 Khan said it is weakness by the education minister that’s allowing boards to flout the law, since David Eggen asked for these policies nearly two years ago.

In 2015, Eggen ordered all Alberta school boards to submit draft LGBTQ policies by March 2016.

READ MORE: Edmonton-area schools ordered to allow gay-straight alliances for LGBTQ students

In a statement sent to News Talk 770 on Monday, the minister said those policies have been submitted but that more work was needed on some to ensure “schools are safe, caring and welcoming for all students.

LISTEN: David Khan reacts to Alberta Health Services report on healthy school policies

“This work takes time and we want to get it right. Students deserve to feel supported in their schools and our government will do everything in our power to ensure that.”

Khan said many school boards appear to be dragging their feet on LGBTQ policy and that it is time the government comes up with a province-wide policy.

“For us to be two years on, and up to almost a quarter of school boards have not complied with that directive, that order, is very concerning,” Khan said.

“I propose that the education minister should be issuing a province-wide, binding and mandatory, meaningful policy that all school boards must comply with.”

According to the report, only 58 of Alberta’s 74 publicly funded school boards had inclusive policies by the end of last year.

Read the report from Alberta Health Services:

Alberta Health Services report on healthy school policies by Alyssa Julie on Scribd

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