The Yorkton School Division has sent out a flyer to bust myths about the division’s policies regarding protecting students’ rights.
The flyer says rumors are circulating that the division allows students to identify as “furries” and use litter boxes in schools, use gender-neutral bathrooms to promote particular ideologies, allows explicit materials in cla*srooms and libraries and promotes homos****lity or diverse gender identities.
“We hear these misconceptions from a variety of sources, including social media platforms, community forums and, in some cases, direct communications with affected individuals,” said Good Spirit School Division Representative Quintin Robertson.
According to the Saskatchewan School Boards Association, Good Spirit isn’t the only division dealing with rumors.
“We have heard from other divisions dealing with misinformation and rumors. Sharing factual information is always a good practice to maintain trust in our publicly funded education system. We will continue to support school boards in providing accurate information to students, staff, parents and families,” Jaimie Smith-Windsor, President of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association.
Robertson said that while it is the division’s duty to listen to all voices in the community, the division says all the rumors are false.
“The claim that the use of litter boxes is permitted is completely false,” the flyer reads. “Specific dress codes have been developed by schools, in consultation with their school community council, but none of them allow students to dress like ‘furries’.”
They said gender-neutral restrooms aim to ensure every student and staff member feels safe and respected.
They also said that claims that the explicit material offered was false and that the school strictly followed guidelines set by the Ministry of Education when it came to implementing age-appropriate content in the cla*srooms.
As for claims that the division promotes homos****lity or diverse gender identities, the division said: “fostering an inclusive environment is not the same as ‘promoting’ a particular s****l orientation.” Education about different s****l orientations is part of a broader educational program, similar to learning about different religions or countries, aimed at reducing discrimination and fostering understanding and empathy between students, staff and families.
He noted that lessons follow the Ministry of Education’s guidelines and the provincial curriculum for s*x and s****lity education.
The division said the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Our communities appreciate our efforts to dispel myths and foster open communication,” Robertson said. “However, we recognize that there may be diverse opinions and we are open to constructive dialogue to further improve our communication and actions.”
Robertson said the flyer is a step in the right direction and communication needs to continue and be reciprocal.
“We encourage members of our community to engage in respectful dialogue and approach these difficult times with empathy and understanding. Together we can build a community based on mutual respect and truth,” said Robertson.
The Ministry of Education has said school divisions are best placed to inform the public.
“School divisions are responsible for the content and information they publish on their social networks,” we can read in a press release from the ministry.
They didn’t say they would intervene.
© 2023 PKBNEWS, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.