Saskatchewan, Canada, has passed legislation regarding school gender identity

Saskatchewan has passed a controversial bill that requires young students to get parental consent to change their pronouns in school. The bill, which was challenged by an LGBT organization, outlines a parent's right to be the "primary decision-maker" in a child's education. Premier Scott Moe stated that the bill was about providing parents the right to support their children in their formative years of their life. The bill includes provisions for parents to be informed of issues around attendance, behavior, disciplinary action, and grades. However, the provision requiring parental consent if a student under 16 asks for a new "gender-related name or gender identity" be used at school sparked controversy.

The policy, and Moe's use of the notwithstanding clause to pass it, received significant criticism, including from Saskatchewan's human rights commissioner Heather Kuttai. She resigned from her position over the policy, calling it an attack on the rights of trans, nonbinary, and gender diverse children. Opposition leader Carla Beck of the left-leaning New Democrats called the move a backward step in the history of Saskatchewan politics.

The province announced the school policy change this summer. Last month, a judge ruled that the policy should be delayed until a constitutional challenge could be heard. The UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity sought an injunction, claiming the measure violated Charter rights and could lead to teachers misgendering students. The clause has been invoked several times in recent years, with Quebec's use of it to pass a law in 2019 that bars civil servants from wearing religious symbols at work.


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