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Peter Lagacy is the president of the New Brunswick Teachers' Association. Image: Submitted/New Brunswick Teachers' Association

Reconsider Policy 713 changes, NBTA tells minister

By Brad Perry Aug 24, 2023 | 4:00 PM

The New Brunswick Teachers’ Association wants the education minister to reconsider his stance on the province’s gender identity policy in schools.

President Peter Lagacy said it is unfortunate that the minister has dismissed the advice of medical professionals and legal experts regarding Policy 713.

“If he truly believes that New Brunswick is indeed a public education system, policy should prevent any student from experiencing discrimination while in school,” Lagacy wrote in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

A recent report from the province’s child and youth advocate found the updated policy violates the rights of children.

Education Minister Bill Hogan said Wednesday that his department stands by the controversial changes made in June, but also acknowledged there are some areas that need to be clarified.

RELATED: N.B. makes ‘clarifications’ to Policy 713 after advocate’s report

Policy 713 has always required students to get parental consent for their preferred name and pronoun to be used for official records, however, there was nothing preventing a teacher from doing so informally.

On Wednesday, Hogan clarified that the use of names in the classroom and in extra-curricular activities is now considered to be formal, meaning it will require parental consent.

But that rule will not apply to guidance counselors, psychologists and social workers when they are supporting the students since those sessions take place in private, he said.

Hogan also clarified that students will be encouraged, rather than directed, to speak with school professionals to come up with a plan to talk with their parents about using a preferred first name — if and when they are ready.

Lagacy, meanwhile, said if the minister does not reconsider his stance, teachers will be placed in a “difficult professional and ethical dilemma.”

“Either they uphold a policy that dictates that they ignore the best advice of all professionals or risk sanction from their employer,” he said.


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