The Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board has explained more in-depth a memo that was sent to all staff regarding Pride Month.
On May 30, 2023, Jamila Maliha who is the Superintendent, Student Achievement; Equity, Diversity and Inclusion issued a memo regarding Pride Month.
The memo stated how “KPR students, staff and school communities come together this month to celebrate, uplift and empower the voices of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. This month and beyond, we embrace opportunities to promote acceptance and equality, show our support, and continue listening and learning from one another to ensure our words, actions and spaces support inclusion for all!”
The Superintendent also stated reminders about student privacy.
“All students have a right to privacy. Unless specifically directed by the student, schools must keep a student’s trans* identity confidential.”
“School staff should not disclose a student’s gender identity to others unless there is a specific “need to know” (e.g., to fulfill a specific accommodation request) or if the student has given permission to share.
Some trans* or gender diverse students are not open about their identity at home for safety or other reasons.”
The memo continues, regardless of age or grade including elementary, “a school should never disclose a student’s gender identity to the student’s guardian(s)/caregivers) without the student’s explicit prior consent.”
Greg Kidd, Communication spokesperson for the School Board said the memo to staff included reminders to take into account the unique circumstances of each individual student in this area, and be mindful of a student’s right to privacy.
“We greatly value the integral role of all parents in the education of their children. Similarly, we equally value the relationships we have with parents and families and our shared goal of success and wellness for students.
Issues around gender identity can be sensitive and, at times, challenging. As an educational system, we have an obligation to support our students throughout their educational journey. Through principles of equity, we are committed to creating welcoming and safe learning environments.”
Kidd said the Board works in partnership with the parents.
“In some instances, there may be cultural, social, safety or other reasons in which a student may not wish to share or disclose gender identity with a parent. There may be a number of reasons for this, and we always consider the unique situation of every student.
Our goal, ultimately, is one we believe we share with parents and families –which is to respect and affirm the inherent dignity and rights of all as we meet our responsibilities in serving the needs of students.”