Open letter to Patti Bachus, Chair VSB – transgender policy

Dear Patti,

I have been following the debate regarding the new policy revisions to support trans* students in the VSB schools.

The VSB policy revision is a considerate and well thought out document.  As a parent and former DPAC Exec I strongly support the revised policy document.  The School Board has a responsibility to care for the needs and well being of all children, not the fears of a socially conservative group of adults.

I have had the opportunity to speak with some of the parents here in the University Neighbourhoods Area and am saddened to learn how fearful some of my newcomer neighbours are.  (I hasten to add, not all, just some). Those who are opposed appear afraid of issues that they have not previously encountered in their countries of origin, or at least issues that were potentially brushed under the table. This leads me to suggest that there is important work to be done in our changing communities with these socially conservative neighbours.  We need to bring people forward with us simultaneously with the introduction of these arguably minor revisions.

That said, I strongly urge the VSB to take the principled and just stance of putting these policy revisions into force.  The revisions are fairly modest, to be quite honest.  The safety of young people who may experience bullying and harassment by others is paramount and clearly trumps the fears of parents regarding the use of bathrooms – the most minor aspect of the entire policy (yet the point I hear the most complaints about).

You are welcome to share my thoughts and opinions with your fellow trustees and members of the public.

With warm regards I wish you the courage to do what is right and to put these policies into play.



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Draft revised VSB Transgender policy