, 21 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
Last year, I did an interview with @MikeTheJourno about the GSA battle in the 2017 school board election. You can read that article here: dailyxtra.com/how-edmonton-b… #ableg #abvote #abed
At the end of the article, I mused: Will the UCP [United Conservative Party] include a repeal of the bill in their platform, or have we finally moved past this?”

It's quite clear now that we haven't.
And I don't really know why any party wants to re-fight this battle again during the provincial election, especially with how decisive the results were in #yegvote and how badly their proxy candidates lost on the issue.
I suppose, maybe, that they think that rural Albertans might think differently, and that's maybe true in some regions of the province, but lots of rural folks in Alberta also love their #LGBTQ family and friends and want them to be safe.
And certainly, it is re-opening a political debate at the expense of #LGBTQ students, who are once again going to be left wondering whether they'll be protected in schools.
Privacy protection is a big part of this, but also, repealing Bill 24 (or repealing by proxy by ditching the School Act) means that school districts will no longer be required to have clear SOGI policies and to post those in public and transparent ways.
It means that GSAs will go from being student-requested and student-led clubs back to being under the determination of the school authority for what to name them and how to support them.
And it means that protection for an #LGBTQ student will depend on whether their parents enrol them in a public school or in a private religious school where their human rights aren't protected in the same way.
We can and will continue to protect kids in #EPSB. We have clear policy and support our GSAs and #LGBTQ kids, including respecting students' privacy and confidentiality and allowing them to decide when and how to talk to parents about their sexuality.
I believe that the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act protects the privacy of students, based on the decision in High Prairie School Division No. 48 (Re), 2012 CanLII 70631 (AB OIPC) (canlii.ca/t/ftsw6).
But, of course, to prove that, we would potentially be looking at fighting a legal battle to protect the confidentiality of a student -- and let's be very clear on this, that would put a vulnerable #LGBTQ in the situation of having to deal with a legal fight for their safety.
I think we'd win, but I also think it's reprehensible to force queer kids into the courts to defend their basic right to privacy and safety and security of the person.
And let's be honest here, students who are at the most risk of being harmed if outed to their parents are likely to just stay away from their school's GSA rather than take a chance that they'll be outed and maybe end up abused or homeless.
GSAs save lives. We have a mounting pile of evidence that they help both queer and straight kids. But they can't save the life of a child who's too scared to reach out for the support they can offer.
And that's why I'm so angry about the idea of putting them at risk. For those who think we can tell who the abusive parents are going to be, I'll be very clear: they don't come with neon signs on their foreheads to warn us.
Everyone who works with kids desperately wishes they could tell whether every child could be at risk of abuse, but we know too well through tragic stories that we simply can't.
That's why it's imperative to allow students, not teachers or staff, to decide when to talk to their families about their sexuality or their gender identity. We can support and encourage that conversation, but in the end, the student needs to lead.
Anyhow. I'm sad and scared for students tonight who aren't in schools where someone will fight to protect their privacy and safety and make sure they have access to the supports they need. We can continue to look after our kids in EPSB, but I worry about the ones we can't.
I hope Albertans are paying attention and also care about the lives of these kids. They're depending on adults to be their allies and not abandon them for political gain.

Which side are you on?
*vulnerable #LGBTQ student

Don't tweet angry. It leads to typos.
One more thing: Bill 24 also required school districts to give clear protections in policy to #LGBTQ staff. That's a major issue with the repeal and could also force people to go through tribunals and courts when they should be able to feel safe in their workplace.
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