The leader of the Progressive Conservative (PC) Party of Alberta suggested that schools should “out” LGBTQ students to their parents.
Last week, Alberta PC Leader Jason Kenney was asked about whether or not parents should be notified when their children join gay-straight alliances at school. According to Global News Canada, he replied, “Parents have a right to know what’s going on with their kids in the schools unless the parents are abusive.”
He went on to say:
A mother approached me in January after a public town hall. She was quite distraught, and she told me that her 12-year-old autistic daughter had been put into counselling and referred to as a boy, given a boy’s name in school. But none of this information had been shared with the parents. So, for months, the child was being treated as a boy in school and as a girl at home, creating even more problems, confusion and tension.
The remarks sparked a massive outcry. David Eggen, of the New Democratic Party of Alberta, wrote on Facebook:
Students have the right to form a GSA. They do not need permission from a principal or superintendent. An entire school community isn’t notified when students set up a chess club or a sports team and students wishing to have a GSA don’t need to be outed in this way.
With the comments Jason Kenney has made, he is effectively outing himself… as an extremist.
Kenney claimed that this was all a misunderstanding. In a Facebook post, he claimed he did not want schools to “out” students.
But Kenney’s statement that parents have a right to know when their children join a GSA is, effectively, an outing. If homophobic parents learn that their child is involved in the LGBTQ community, there could be serious negative consequences for the child.
(Header image via Facebook)