The safety, well-being, and experiences of LGBTQ youth (e.g., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning) are important. We know many LGBTQ youth, youth perceived to be LGBTQ, and youth with LGBTQ family members do not feel safe at school. At the CBE, we are committed to creating safe and caring communities for everyone, including our LGBTQ youth.
Alberta Education recently released its "Guidelines for Best Practices: Creating Learning Environments that Respect Diverse Sexual Orientations, Gender Identities and Gender Expressions." All school boards were asked to use these best practices to develop or update their policies, regulations and procedures related to creating these learning environments. CBE guidelines are posted on this page.
If you have specific questions/concerns about the provincial guidelines, please contact Alberta Education directly. If you have questions about how these will impact your school and your child please refer to our parent FAQ. If you have follow up questions, they are best directed to your school principal.
While this work has been going on for a number of years, in December 2011, a response from our Chief Superintendent summarized the steps we are taking and acknowledged our steadfast commitment. This commitment was reinforced at a December 2012 meeting of CBE leaders.
As part of our ongoing commitment, a memo from our Chief Superintendent and resource guide regarding gender identity and sexual orientation was sent to all work locations in early 2013. The guide provides:
- information on issues facing youth
- key information/research
- community resources available
- suggestions for practice
In the spring of 2013 we invited all employees to participate in a two-part session entitled “Creating the conditions for all students to thrive: A conversation about gender identity and sexual orientation.” A summary report with key findings and recommendations is guiding our ongoing work.
The Board of Trustees also cares deeply about protecting LGBTQ youth and issued the following statement in April 2014:
“The Board of Trustees is confirming that it has established a solid foundation for LGBTQ-inclusive practices in the Calgary Board of Education.
The Board’s Mission emphasizes the obligation and responsibility of each one of us to create the conditions for each young person to thrive, including gender and sexual minority youth. Additionally, in June 2012, the Board of Trustees approved a reasonable interpretation of diversity to mean, the full range of uniqueness within humanity. This reinforces the CBE’s commitment to support LGBTQ youth, staff and families and those perceived to be LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) in safe and caring learning environments.
It is important to note that schools respond in multiple ways to address the safety and well-being of LGBTQ youth. Gay Straight Alliances are one way to respond.”
Public education is a shared responsibility. With students, families, employees and our communities, we are working together every day to build positive learning environments for student success.
For more information please contact the Office of the Chief Superintendent.
Note | The LGBTQ acronym is not all-encompassing but is used here to represent the full range of gender and sexual minorities. We recognize that language is ever evolving.