Doing What’s Best for Kids

Policy 19: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity


Students, staff and families who identify, or are perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirited, or questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity are to be respected, accepted and fully supported in all schools operated by the Division.

The Board of Trustees is committed to providing every student a, welcoming, caring, respectful, safe and inclusive school environment that fosters and maintains respectful responsible behaviours. Every member of our diverse school community has the right to live, learn and work in an environment free from discrimination, prejudice and harassment.


  1. The board believes that gender and sexual minority staff and students have the right to self-identification and determination. Students and staff who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer (LGBTQ) shall be treated fairly, equitably, with respect and have their confidentiality respected and protected.
  2. Employees of Fort McMurray Public School Division shall not tolerate harassment, bullying, intimidation or discrimination on the basis of a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
  3. The principal shall support student groups, including Gay-Straight Alliances or Queer-Straight Alliances, where interest by students has been expressed. Students may select a respectful and inclusive name for the group, in consultation with the school principal as per Section 35.1 of the Education Act.

    Support for student organizations as per section 35.1 of the Education Act.

    Section 16.1(1) If one or more students attending a school operated by a board request a staff member employed by the board for support to establish a voluntary student organization, or to lead an activity intended to promote a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment that respects diversity and fosters a sense of belonging, the principal of the school shall:

    (a) immediately grant permission for the establishment of the student organization or the holding of the activity at the school, and

    (b) subject to subsection 35.1(4) of the Education Act, within a reasonable time from the date that the principal receives the request designate a staff member to serve as the staff liaison to facilitate the establishment, and the ongoing operation, of the student organization or to assist in organizing the activity.

    16.1(3) The students may select a respectful and inclusive name for the organization or activity, including the name “gay-straight alliance” or “queer-straight alliance”, after consulting with the principal.

    16.1(3.1) For greater certainty, the principal shall not prohibit or discourage students from choosing a name that includes “gay-straight alliance” or “queer-straight alliance”.

    16.1(4) The principal shall immediately inform the board and the Minister if no staff member is available to serve as a staff liaison referred to in subsection 35.1(1), and if so informed, the Minister shall appoint a responsible adult to work with the requesting students in organizing the activity or to facilitate the establishment, and the ongoing operation, of the student organization at the school.

    16.1(6) The principal is responsible for ensuring that notification, if any, respecting a voluntary student organization or an activity referred to in subsection 35.1(1) is limited to the fact of the establishment of the organization or the holding of the activity.

  4. Notification of student groups or activities provided for in Section 35.1 of the Education Act will be otherwise consistent with the usual practices relating to notifications of other student organizations or activities.
  5. Fort McMurray Public Schools is a public body under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Disclosure of any personal information must be done in accordance with this Act.
  6. The principal shall promote and provide inclusive education, professional development opportunities and support for staff to support same-gender parented families and students who are LGBTQ.
  7. The principal shall appoint and publicly identify a staff member to serve as a safe contact on LGBTQ issues in their school community. The safe contact shall inform the school community about available division and community supports and resources.
  8. The principal will ensure the safety, health and educational needs of students who identify as transgender, transsexual or gender-queer and promote best practices, including universal design of washrooms, preferred name and pronouns, information contained on the student record, and access to locker room facilities, field trips, and extracurricular activities consistent with a student’s lived gender identity or gender expression.
  9. Students who identified as LGBTQ are encouraged to report any incident or victimization, harassment, discrimination, intimidation or bullying to the school principal/safe contact person.
  10. The principal shall ensure satisfactory resolution to any conflict that may arise in the process of providing reasonable accommodation and inclusive practices in keeping with the best interests of the student.
  11. The principal shall ensure that all students, staff and families are aware of this policy, promote equality and nondiscrimination with respect to gender, gender identity, gender expression and/or sexual orientation.