Inclusion of Diversity

The Inclusion of Diversity:

 

Section 39:    The Inclusion of Students and Staff with Diverse

                           Sexual Orientations, Gender Identities and Gender Expressions

 

Updated February 17, 2016

 

Students and staff are entitled to welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments that respect diversity and nurture a sense of belonging and a positive sense of self. – Education Act Section 45.

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Background:
Banbury Crossroads must follow the directives of the Alberta Education Act, and as such, the following will be implemented in all school activities, both on and off campus.  As per our foundational philosophy, which includes our Mission and Vision Statements, we endeavour to create a place of learning for our whole school community that is respectful, nurturing, safe, inspiring, and empathetic.  As such, providing these qualities for this vulnerable LGBTQ group and their families is simply part of our mandate.

 

Support for Student Organizations:

16.1(1) If one or more students attending a school operated by a board request a staff member employed by the board for support to establish a voluntary student organization, or to lead an activity intended to promote a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment that respects diversity and fosters a sense of belonging, the principal of the school shall

(a) immediately grant permission for the establishment of the student organization or the holding of the activity at the school, and

(b) subject to subsection (4), within a reasonable time from the date that the principal receives the request designate a staff member to serve as the staff liaison to facilitate the establishment, and the ongoing operation, of the student organization or to assist in organizing the activity.

(3) The students may select a respectful and inclusive name for the organization or activity, including the name “gay-straight alliance” or “queer-straight alliance”, after consulting with the principal.

(3.1) For greater certainty, the principal shall not prohibit or discourage students from choosing a name that includes “gay-straight alliance” or “queer-straight alliance”.

(4) The principal shall immediately inform the board and the Minister if no staff member is available to serve as a staff liaison referred to in subsection (1), and if so informed, the Minister shall appoint a responsible adult to work with the requesting students in organizing the activity or to facilitate the establishment, and the ongoing operation, of the student organization at the school.

 

(6) The principal is responsible for ensuring that notification, if any, respecting a voluntary student organization or an activity referred to in subsection (1) is limited to the fact of the establishment of the organization or the holding of the activity.

 

 

Policy and Procedures:

Accommodations

(a)  The Registration Form will provide a space to identify the student according to their wishes.  We respect individuals’ right to self-identify their gender and name.

(b)Staff and peers will consistently use a student’s chosen name and pronouns in ways the student has requested.

(c)  Staff will use a student’s chosen name and pronouns in School-issued documents provided the student has requested this.

(d)However, a legal name change is required if they desire their official Alberta Education documents to reflect their preferred name.

(e)  School officials may change sexual or gender information for Alberta Education documents, such as PASI.

(f)  As per our usual mandate, we will treat students individually, on a case-by-case basis, ensuring that the student has a full and equitable participation in school life.

(g)  In keeping with our philosophy and practices, and with the support of communication training such as P.ET. (Parent Effectiveness Training), staff will listen empathetically to students’ and parents’ concerns and create a collaborative work environment that meets students' needs.

(2)Respect

(a)    The School community will be encouraged to shift to the use of gender-non-specific terminology in all interactions.

(b)   The School atmosphere is already very respectful, due to its smallness in size, and the practical manner in which our philosophy unfolds.  Any issue is addressed as quickly as possible, with the aim being win-win solutions.  When issues arise, we will follow our Conflict Resolution Policy to address their resolution respectfully.

(c)    Staff will have access to reliable information and professional learning opportunities, as well as access to community resources and expertise.

(d)   Staff will support the establishment, and naming, of Gay-Straight Alliances, or Queer-Straight Alliances, or similar student leadership and support groups, when students express an interest.

(e)    Staff are supported as a liaison for any such alliances.

(f)     As per our philosophy, what a person wears is a personal expression, and so we do not have a dress code; we encourage all students to dress with dignity.

(g)    Staff will continue to avoid structuring courses or activities according to gender.

(h)   When it is not possible to have activities that are gender neutral, such as sex education classes, then a collaborative effort will be made to respect and meet all parties’ needs.

(i)      On occasions when overnight or housing accommodations are required, school staff will make every effort to provide solutions that are inclusive, respectful and acceptable to all of the students.

(3)Privacy

(a)  The School will protect a student’s personal information and privacy, including where possible, having a student’s explicit permission to communicate with parents, guardians, peers and others in their lives.

(b)As per the Role of the Teacher, staff must respect the students’ privacy and confidentiality.

(c)    When compiling student/staff lists, school staff will ensure gender designations are not included, either beside individual names, or as a composite number of females or males for the group.

(d)   When requested, staff will ensure that students have private access to washrooms and change rooms.

(4)Protection from Bullying

(a)    As per our Conflict Resolution Policy (a comprehensive, whole-school approach), all reports of bullying will be taken seriously, and addressed according to that policy.