ALBERTA

Edmonton school now allowing transgender daughter use bathroom of choice:mom

05/19/2015 07:51 EDT | Updated 05/19/2016 05:59 EDT
EDMONTON - The mother of a seven-year-old transgender girl says her Catholic school in Edmonton has now agreed to let her use whatever bathroom she wants.

The girl’s family came forward with their story last month after becoming frustrated with the school board for making the child use a gender-neutral bathroom.

The Catholic School Board said a gender-neutral bathroom meets the child’s needs and balances the interests of all the students.

Edmonton Catholic school trustee Patricia Grell raised concerns in a blog post, saying the student should be allowed to use the girls’ bathroom because she identifies herself as a girl.

The family has filed a human rights complaint.

On Tuesday, the board said it will create a new bathroom policy and will consult with the archdiocese of Edmonton, medical specialists, parents and educational experts for all students in all grades.

“These children have many issues they have to overcome and choosing a washroom and being outed by the school shouldn’t be one of them,” the girl’s mother told Global Edmonton last week.

A special board meeting set for Tuesday to deal with "the public nature of board business" was cancelled.

There was speculation the board was going to discipline Grell for speaking out against it.

“The mover of the intended motion advised that she wished to withdraw that single item, and as a result, the board determined that it was not necessary to proceed with today’s meeting,” said board chair Debbie Engel.

“The agenda item was to discuss the public nature of board business and may be addressed at a future date.”

Grell said she still expects to face consequences for what she did. Guidelines prohibit trustees from speaking out, Grell said, adding she has argued the washroom policy is “unconstitutional.”

“City councillors can speak out against the decisions of city council and MLAs can and MPs can. What’s with school trustees? Why can’t we speak out?”

The board said in a statement Tuesday the situation is “best addressed on an interim basis at the school level."

(Global Edmonton, CHED)

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