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 provides best practice strategies about safe and caring environments "Guidelines for Best Practices: Creating Learning Environments that Respect Diverse Sexual Orientations, Gender Identities and Gender Expressions." CBE guidelines, align with provincial best practices.
If you have questions, please refer to our parent FAQ. If you have follow up questions, they are best directed to your school principal.
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 March, 2018, the Board of Trustees approved an update to our Mission that replaced the words “his and her” with “their” to reflect more inclusive language and practice.
It is important to note that schools respond in multiple ways to address the safety and well-being of LGBTQ youth.
Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs or QSAs)
Gay-straight alliances (GSAs and QSAs) are peer support networks run by students and supported by school staff. Every student has the right to belong to a GSA or QSA. These student groups would be grounded in the principles of promoting:
- Equity for gender and sexual minority students
- Safe, caring and inclusive spaces for all students
- Healthy, respectful environments and relationships to prevent or eliminate bullying and discrimination.
Recent changes to the School Act clarify information with respect to GSAs/QSAs. This includes more explicit information about parent notification, initiation of GSAs/QSAs and the responsibility of school principals. If students are interested in starting a GSA/QSA at their school more information can be found at the AB Education website
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. The CBE’s Sexual Orientation Gender Identity (SOGI) team is available to provide supports to student, staff and families. If you have any question or require any services or support please contact us.
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.