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Livingstone Range School Board approves policy on well-being of LGBTQ students

Livingstone Range School Board has approved a change to its policy on a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment to reflect the safety and well-being of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Queer or Questioning students.
The decision came at the board’s April meeting.
The addition to the policy states the board expects all trustees, staff, and students will adhere to the division’s sexual orientation and gender identification procedure, the School Act, and all other acts and legislations in effect which ensures a welcoming, caring, respectful, and safe learning environment.
In an interview after the meeting, superintendent Dave Driscoll said this policy has been shared with school councils, and there were no issues.
The procedure, which schools will follow, has gone to school councils who have provided feedback.
Every school council and staff had a chance to provide input too.
“We made some adjustments to that procedure,” Driscoll said.
Driscoll emphasized they tried to be as balanced as they could to be respectful to everyone.
Driscoll also noted principals and schools have been handling these situations for years.
They create a plan of action to support these students.
One of the biggest questions surrounded the issue of change rooms, which has received province-wide attention.
Driscoll said this procedure is for Livingstone Range students and parents.
“We need to make it work for our region,” Driscoll said.
Again, they received feedback from parents and made some adjustments.
Over the summer, some washrooms will be changed so there will be boys, girls, and just washrooms.
This has already occurred in some schools for years to address issues beyond gender, such as the anxiety some students have being around others in the washroom.
Driscoll said this is local. Principals know the students and their families, and that helps them know what to do to help out.
After all, their job is to take care of everyone who walks through the doors of the school.
Now, the policy has been sent to Education Minister David Eggen.
“We’re waiting for the minister to review it,” Driscoll said.
Once they hear back, the procedure will be shared with school administrators in June.

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