Case of transgender girl fighting Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum repeal dismissed

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario dismissed the argument that the government was discriminating against the sixth-grader

The Ontario government’s decision to repeal a modernized sex-ed curriculum does not violate a transgender girl’s rights, the province’s human rights tribunal decided Thursday.

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario dismissed the argument that the government was discriminating against the 11-year-old sixth-grader — identified only as AB — by not including mandatory lessons on gender identity in the curriculum at the time she filed the complaint.

The tribunal said a separate court decision in favour of the government made the girl’s complaint moot.

READ MORE: Two students face multiple charges in threats against Ontario school

The Divisional Court ruled in February that it is the role of elected officials, not the courts, to make legislation and policy decisions, noting that government lawyers said teachers were allowed to go beyond what is in the new curriculum.

“While the applicant is worried that she may experience increased victimization, her fear is speculative because it is now clear to all school boards and teachers what is required of them,” adjudicators Jennifer Scott and Brenda Bowlby wrote, noting that the court affirmed that teachers are required to include all students in the sex-ed curriculum.

“There is now no uncertainty about the sex education that she will receive,” they wrote. ”Her teachers must include her because the code and charter require them to teach in an inclusive manner.”

Since the girl’s hearing before the tribunal in January, the Progressive Conservative government introduced a sex-ed curriculum that returns to teaching gender identity and consent.

But the lessons on gender identity will happen in Grade 8 — later than it would have under the modernized curriculum introduced by the previous Liberal government in 2015.

The girl testified in January that she wasn’t sure how classmates would treat her if subjects such as gender identity and gender expression were not required, and voiced concerns about going to a bigger school next year for Grade 7.

“I don’t know what the students have been taught,” she said at the time.

READ MORE: B.C. RCMP arrest foreign national in connection to airport thefts

The challenge before the Divisional Court — which was brought by the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association — differed from the human rights case because it did not focus on the effects on LGBTQ students.

The applicants in that case argued that the changes infringed teachers’ freedom of expression and put students at risk by failing to be inclusive.

But the tribunal opted to lean on the court decision because the government used the same defence in each case.

“In order for the applicant to succeed, we would be required to find that the Divisional Court erred,” Scott and Bowlby wrote. ”That, in essence, amounts to stepping into the shoes of an appellate court.”

Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Buccaneers pillage Irish 36-0

Central Alberta bounces back after off week against Wolfpack

Lacombe business drives home with CARS Magazine 2019 Shop of the Year Award

Lacombe Auto Service Centre Ltd. looking to keep evolving with industry

Lacombe Corn Maze celebrates 20 years in central Alberta

Kraay Family Farms will be celebrating the occasion all season

Lacombe’s Chairs for Charity is back for second year

75 chairs to be auctioned off in hopes of raising $10,000

Community mourns the deaths of two Maskwacis toddlers

Siblings found drowned on family’s property

WATCH: Lacombe AUPE members picket against Bill 9

Union members say their constitutional rights have been ignored

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Bashaw seed cleaning plant holds official opening

New facility operating well since January

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Most Read