A community organization representing LGBTQ+ people in Regina has taken legal action against the Saskatchewan government over a pronoun policy affecting school children.
McCarthy Tetrault LLP will work with Egale Canada on a lawsuit that could take the Saskatchewan government to court over its controversial policy requiring teachers to obtain parental consent before calling a trans student by their new name or new pronoun.
They will represent the UR Pride Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity at the University of Regina and ask a judge to overturn changes that affect LGBTQ+ youth.
Bennett Jensen, legal director of Egale Canada, said that without the injunction, trans youth would be put at risk from the start of the school year.
“Regardless of the circumstances, teachers now have an obligation under this policy to report their students,” Jensen said. “This exposes these students to unacceptable harm starting Tuesday. It is therefore essential that we act as quickly as possible. »
“This lawsuit aims to ensure that all children and youth in Saskatchewan have a safe place to go to school. »
If granted, the injunction would stay the policies while the court hears the case.
The province announced earlier this month that it would require parental consent when children under 16 want to use different names or pronouns at school.
In the court application, the Government of Saskatchewan and the province’s 27 school divisions are named as respondents.
UR Pride says the rules are not justifiable under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and deny the right of gender-diverse students in a free and democratic society.
For trans youth, Jensen said they are there for them and doing everything they can to change the policy.
“Through this process, I have had the benefit of meeting so many teachers in Saskatchewan who show up every day to advocate for the best interests of their students and do so with discernment and discretion and do so in the best interests of the community. ‘student’, Jensen. said.
PKBNEWS contacted the province to discuss the lawsuit.
“The Government of Saskatchewan remains committed to implementing the policy it announced on August 22, 2023, which requires parental consent if a student under the age of 16 wishes to change their name or pronouns at school” , can we read in a press release.
“The government stands by its position that parents and guardians have a key role to play in protecting and supporting their children as they grow and develop and will do everything in their power to protect parental rights. .”
The two sides will begin debating the injunction next week.
— With files from the Canadian Press.