Advocates concerned about ‘anti-trans’ school board candidates

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Rights groups are concerned about the number of candidates vying for school trustee positions across Canada, saying a higher number than usual are spreading transphobic rhetoric or other discriminatory messages targeting the community LGBTQ.

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Groups like the Canadian Anti-Hate Network say it’s a growing concern nationally as elections for directors take place in several provinces, while a coalition of groups in Ottawa have nominated specific candidates who , they say, will likely endanger the rights and safety of trans students if elected.

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Hazel Woodrow, education facilitator at CAHN, says she sees more vocal and coordinated efforts among candidates who oppose policies designed to make schools more inclusive for trans children.

She says that while administrators cannot change the curriculum, by setting budgets and board policies, they are still able to influence the school environment that is directly linked to health outcomes, particularly for marginalized students.

Some candidates singled out by the groups say they are concerned about how gender issues are handled in schools, as well as the effects on student well-being.

Ontario’s school trustee elections take place on Monday, while Manitoba votes on Wednesday and British Columbia’s election was held on October 15.


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