Legal group takes issue with LGBTQ policies
Writes letter to school boards
A charitable legal organization that sued the Alberta government over school protections for LGBTQ students has written to school boards across Alberta saying their policies may breach the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Alberta’s education minister, meanwhile, said she sees no problem with school board policies preventing principals from revealing whether a student belongs to a gay-straight alliance.
“I would say that John Carpay and his organization does not speak for the government of Alberta, nor do they speak for the department of education," Education Minister Adriana Lagrange said at the legislature Thursday.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) is headed by Carpay, who last year compared the rainbow Pride flag to Nazi and Communist symbols. He was a United Conservative Party member at the time.
On Thursday, the Alberta NDP shared a letter addressed to an Edmonton public school trustee from Marty Moore, staff lawyer for the JCCF.
It refers to the “need to amend safe and caring policies.” Moore confirmed Thursday he authored the letter, and sent similar letters to every public and Catholic school board in Alberta.
The letter said legislative changes introduced in spring by the United Conservative Party government should prompt the Edmonton public school board to change policies that “keep secrets from parents about their children’s involvement in certain student organizations or activities.”
In an interview, Moore said he believes policies in use by Edmonton Catholic and Edmonton public schools violate the charter because they limit principals to disclosing only whether or not a gay-straight alliance or other student club exists at the school.
The former NDP government required schools to use that policy language in the School Act.
The UCP government replaced the School Act with an amended Education Act in Bill 8, which rolled back requirements of schools to protect LGBTQ student and staff rights.