Are the Alberta Government Guidelines for Best Practices with Respect to Diverse Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression Appropriate for Drafting LGBTQ School Policies?


March 3, 2016 :: Maria Fitzpatrick, MLA for Lethbridge East
Moderated by Courtney Rieger

On June 1, 2015, Alberta’s Bill 10 became law. The content of this bill has twofold implications for policy within school districts. The first impact is that Gay Straight Alliances (GSA’s) must be allowed in any school where students request to have them. The second is that “gender identity” and “gender expression” are now included in Alberta’s Bill of Rights. In December, 2015, those rights were also added to Alberta’s Human Rights Act through Bill 7.
In the fall of 2015, Alberta’s Minister of Education released Guidelines for Best Practices: Creating Learning Environments that Respect Diverse Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression for all publicly funded schools and gave each Alberta school board until March 31, 2016 to come up with their own policy to accommodate the provincial guidelines. However, the question has been asked: Why not draft the same LGBTQ policy for all school boards? The speaker will elaborate on that question and explain more details of Bill 7 and 10.
Speaker: Maria Fitzpatrick, MLA for Lethbridge East
Maria Fitzpatrick was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, representing the constituency of Lethbridge-East, on May 5, 2015. She currently serves as deputy chair of the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections, Standing Orders and Printing and as a member of the Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future.
Born and educated in Newfoundland, Maria attended Memorial University in St. John's between 1966 and 1972 and received a diploma in education from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia in 1988. Her work career began as a teacher with the Catholic school board in St. John's, but she dedicated over 30 years of her life in the field of corrections, finishing her career working for National Headquarters of the Correctional Service of Canada working in policy and project management.
Ms. Fitzpatrick's extensive community service spans over several decades and involves participation on several boards and in numerous associations, including United Way Ottawa, the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the National Association of Federal Retirees. In addition, she served as chair of the Lethbridge Regional Women's Committee, as vice-president of the Canadian Federation of University Women and as an event organizer with the Ottawa Regional Women's Committee. She is also a member of the McKillop United church choir.
Moderator:   Courtney Reiger
Date: Thursday, March 3, 2016
Time: Noon - 1:30 PM (30 minutes each for presentation, lunch and Q & A)
Location: Country Kitchen Catering (Lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S
Cost: $11.00 (includes lunch) or $2.00 (includes coffee/tea)


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