Saskatchewan backs parents’ rights to know about students’ gender changes in school

Aug 23, 2023 | Political News

Schools in Saskatchewan will now be required to obtain parental consent before using the preferred name or pronouns of students under 16 years of age.

The rule is just one of many included in the province's Parental Inclusion and Consent Policies announced on Tuesday by Education Minister Dustin Duncan.

The goal of the new regulations is to ensure parents have a say in their children's learning experience. “Respect of all students' personal and family beliefs regarding family life and human sexuality,” the ministry said, “will be the foremost objective.”

Going forward, schools will be required to “inform parents about instruction of sexual health … and give them the oportunity to ask questions, get clarification, and express concerns. Parents will have the ability to opt out if they deem the content inappropriate. 

Materials dealing with sexual education will only be presented by teachers, and “involvement with any third-party organization, such as ARC Foundation and the SOGI 1 2 3 Program, connected to sexual health education,” will be paused while the ministry “undertakes review of educational resources to ensure alignment with curriculum outcomes.”

“Our government has heard the concerns raised by Saskatchewan parents about needing to be notified and included in their children's education in these important areas,” Duncan said in a statement.

“We also determined that while all of Saskatchewan's school divisions had policies dealing with these matters, those policies varied from one division to another, so it was important to standardize these policies and ensure consistency of parental inclusion, no matter where your child goes to school.”

Duncan noted that “parent/guardian involvement is critical in every student's education,” and that, “schools will continue to ensure safe learning environments where all students feel included, protected and respected.”

Saskatchewan's decision comes on the heels of regulations recently adopted by New Brunswick premier Blaine Higgs, which also limited the ability of schools to indoctrinate students in gender ideology.