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Kelly Lamrock is New Brunswick's child, youth and seniors' advocate. Image: Submitted

N.B. child and youth advocate says new Policy 713 vague and unclear

By News Jun 13, 2023 | 11:20 AM

New Brunswick’s child and youth advocate says removing language from Policy 713 makes it vague and unclear at the expense of students’ rights.

Kelly Lamrock has released his analysis of the updated policy, which is meant to protect LGBTQ+ students in schools.

Lamrock questioned why language requiring informed student consent for officially changing preferred names and pronouns has been removed.

Especially since Education Minister Bill Hogan has said repeatedly that students will not be outed without consent.

“If this is the intent, there is no reason for that language to be removed,” Lamrock said in his four-page review.

Lamrock said while it is appropriate to encourage LGBTQ+ students to speak to their parents, they deserve clarity that they can talk to those they trust in confidence.

The advocate said it is also unclear what support can be given to students short of changing the official record.

“It is within the legal mainstream to have an age limit for changing official records. It is not legally or operationally normal to have silence on what can be done to support students within the school environment short of that,” said Lamrock.

“The policy is unclear as to whether informal kindness and decency are allowed or not, and this places teachers and students in a difficult spot.”

Calling someone by the name they wish is a simple courtesy, said Lamrock, and there is no reason to withhold that due to gender identity.

Overall, Lamrock said he feels the new policy shows the government’s intent to protect LGBTQ+ youth

But he said the deleted language should be restored, adding there was not a clear reasoning as to why it was changed in the first place.


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