An Ontario public school board has issued a directive instructing teachers to maintain confidentiality regarding gender “transitions” of students without informing their parents. The York Region District School Board (YRDSB) released a memo on September 28, leaked to independent journalist Chanel Pfahl, which emphasized prioritizing student confidentiality and privacy over parental rights in matters related to gender identity.
The memo explicitly stated that parents should not be contacted without the student’s consent regarding any changes in identifiers. It further advised that when a student shares new names and pronouns with the school, teachers should inquire about the student’s preferred name and pronouns for potential communication with parents, caregivers, or guardians.
This directive was issued by Cecil Roach, the associate director of Education, Schools, Programs, and Equitable Outcomes, and Fawzia Durrani, the principal of Inclusive School and Community Services within YRDSB. The memo also directed YRDSB teachers and staff to inquire about students’ preferred pronouns for use in various school settings, including the classroom, PA system, during class activities, and for emergency contacts.
Ontario’s Education Minister, Mr. Lecce, expressed concerns about parental rights and involvement, stating that parents should be fully informed and engaged in their children’s lives, especially when there are potential health implications involved in such decisions. He emphasized the importance of respecting parental rights and suggested that parents should have the opportunity to save their children from tragic decisions with life-altering consequences.
The YRDSB’s directive has emerged amid a wave of pro-family protests across Canada, where citizens are determined to safeguard their children from what they perceive as LGBT indoctrination in schools. The largest protest to date, known as the Million Person March, occurred on September 20 and involved Canadians from various backgrounds coming together to voice their concerns about LGBT-related teachings in educational institutions.