Comprehensive sex ed and GSAs: The Horror


A protester of Bill 10, which obligates all schools to support a Gay-Straight Alliance if the students request one, has found another concern about the education curriculum:

“We must say no to Bill 10 as it is written,” Trimble told protesters.

If we do not make our voices heard we will soon find comprehensive sexual education foisted on schools next. I am here to let you know that sexual education is undergoing a rewrite in the province of Alberta as we speak,” she said.

The utter horror. Facts! Supported by evidence! IN OUR EDUCATION CURRICULUM!!!

“As long as Bill 10 remains on the books as written, the government knows that is can continue to violate religious freedom, it can continue to violate parental rights and it can continue to violate the relationship that is sacred between parents and their children.”

I can hear those dog whistles. “Religious freedom” to do what, exactly? Molest kids? Teach blatantly incorrect sex ed? Bully queer youth?

Interestingly enough, the same protest also helpfully provided their interpretation of Bill 10, just in case you were second guessing those dog whistles:

The new gender Guidelines and Bill 10 assume the worst of Alberta parents, damaging the parentchild bond by not allowing schools to notify parents of their children’s identity struggles in school. Teachers, principals and other staff are now prevented from informing parents about their child’s struggles with gender identity and sexual orientation, and about their child’s involvement with a GayStraight Alliance, unless the child consents to her/his parents being informed.

Actually, by allowing the student to give or refuse disclosure, Alberta assumes the realistic of parents: that some parents are shitstains who throw their kids out on the street for being queer or try to intimidate their kids out of it.

The gender Guidelines, which apply to all Alberta schools, require that boys be allowed to use girls’ bathrooms, change rooms and showers, from the moment that a boy “self-identifies” as a girl; same for a girl who “self-identifies” as a boy. The Guidelines require schools to reduce gender-segregated activities, including boys-only and girls-only clubs, sports teams, uniforms, etc. and start using “nongendered” language (e.g. parents/guardians, partners, instead of mother, father, he, she).

Oh hey, thanks for pointing out that you are, in fact, the shitstains referred to in the aforementioned “fact.”

Trans girls aren’t boys. Trans boys aren’t girls. You literally just finished the observation that the Alberta government assumes some parents make life difficult for queer youth and before you’ve even drawn your next breath said a cavalcade of poorly informed transphobic bullshit.

Bill 10 puts children in charge of what clubs and activities are permitted at the school they attend, and legally prevents parents from having any say in the matter. Bill 10 removes from principals and teachers their autonomy to work with parents to address bullying in the way that is best suited to meet the unique circumstances of each local school.

My interpretation of their interpretation isn’t exactly going to be generous considering point #2. I’m hearing “Wahh, wahh, the government won’t let us bully queer kids.”

The Guidelines and Bill 10 are not based on objective or comprehensive research, and do little to address the root causes of bullying in schools. They are based on ideology rather than evidence.


Evidence. You mean like this report, which states: “The fear of loss of rights and actual loss of rights are two distinctly different matters, and the research and public consultation process made it evident that GSAs do not undermine or hinder rights. On the contrary, contributors to RMCLA’s public consultations made it abundantly clear that GSAs enhance rights of association, assembly, expression, religion and conscience for those who voluntarily choose to participate in GSAs. Furthermore, input to the RMCLA public consultations revealed that there are no significant deleterious effects upon the right of association, assembly, expression, religious and conscience for those individuals who attend schools where GSAs exist, but choose not to participate therein.”

Bill 10 forces every school in Alberta to establish clubs and sponsor activities that may be completely contrary to the school’s mission and beliefs, and hostile to the morals and principles that parents teach their own children at home.

Ah yes, the aforementioned Gay-Straight Alliances. They’re not wrong. I’m hostile to people who believe it’s okay to dehumanize me. I feel like it’s a fair trade-off. You reap what you sow, that sort of thing.

Bill 10 was passed by the Alberta Legislature in March of 2015 in a matter of hours without any public consultation about the actual law that was passed. The Alberta Education Minister has publicly threatened to “work with” any school or school board that refuses to implement the Guidelines or to establish a Gay-Straight Alliance.

I guess she fell asleep during this process. The (former) Education Minister as well as the (former) Premier had a months long questioning period before Bill 10 was passed.

The Minister has refused to guarantee continued funding and accreditation to schools and school boards which reject the Guidelines.


The sooner religious institutions stop receiving public money, the better.

I’ll be over here, playing the world’s smallest violin.




  1. sandykat says

    It feels sometimes like we’re going backwards on the subject of sex ed in schools. When I graduated from Alberta’s school system in 1997, it was just an assumed, non-controversial part of the curriculum. A few kids whose parents were uber-religious would be pulled out for those lessons and the rest of us would go on without noticing.
    Now obsessed parents are scrutinizing every facet of the curriculum to find the pieces they don’t like the sound of (understanding and facts be damned!). Why couldn’t they get that interested in the parts of the curriculum that could actually use more effort, like math and reading skills?

  2. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I’m just popping in to one of my favorite points.

    The above quote talks about a parent asserting their parental rights. To what, specifically? At least one the parent asserts the right to keep their child ignorant about facts, in this case facts about how their own body works, how sex works, and how contraceptives work, etc. No parent has that right. Children are not property of their parents. Children are wards of their parents. No parent has the “right” to keep their child ignorant. We as society acting through government have a duty to ensure that every child is properly educated, sometimes in spite of the wishes of their parents that they be kept ignorant. We have this duty as society, because these children can only become adults who can give informed consent by becoming informed. We also have a self interest to do this, because informed adults will be better voters compared to uninformed adults.

    F these kinds of parents who think that they have a right to keep their children ignorant.

  3. Bruce says

    Great points, especially @#3.
    Imagine some religious parent who had atheist grandparents. Would the religious parent agree to become atheist, and agree to raise the children atheist, just because the grandparent was atheist and wanted it so? Of course not. We all know that such a religious parent would say that now they are an adult, they have the right to be religious. And they do. But that means they admit that when people turn 18 or whatever, they have freedom to make their own choices. Parents don’t have a right to force adult children to obey them. Adult children get to decide independently.
    The government and society have a duty to each member of society that they should be raised in a way that lets them decide independently when they are an adult.
    So kids should be able to explore and discover reality in safe ways, as they grow up.
    It is an extremely safe thing to participate in a GSA club at a school, where the meetings involve talking and not some bar scene out of Star Wars.
    At least, being in a GSA group would be completely safe, if not for harassment from anti-freedom busybodies including a few religious parents who are trying to ruin things for the rest of society.

  4. magistramarla says

    I was the GSA mentor teacher for a GSA group in a large Texas high school. The group was attempting to meet on their own in the cafeteria after school. The AP told them that they must meet in a classroom and must have a teacher to agree to it. After being turned down by several teachers, one of my Latin students thought to ask me. I readily agreed.
    When I went to the AP’s office to sign a paper, he thanked me for “babysitting the troublemakers”. I informed him that I intended to be their mentor, not their babysitter.
    We had a good-sized group, and my classroom became the safe zone where the kids felt free to be themselves. I had a few kids in that group who didn’t dare let their parents know that they were gay or questioning for fear of being thrown out or worse. Often, I heard the excited stories about a first crush or first date, and I thought that those parents were missing so much of their own children’s lives.

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