05/27/2013 09:16 EDT | Updated 07/27/2013 05:12 EDT

Manitoba minister to meet teachers who want sex orientation added to curricula

WINNIPEG - Education Minister Nancy Allan will meet within six months with teachers to hear why they want all education curricula to reflect sexual orientation themes and issues.

The Manitoba Teachers’ Society overwhelmingly endorsed a motion at its weekend convention that the province “ensure that same-sex families and LBGTTQ (lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, two-spirited, queer) people and themes are reflected in all curricula.”

But Allan cautioned that any change to provincial curricula can take years.

Allan said what's most important is that young people feel safe at school so they can reach their potential.

MTS president Paul Olson said Sunday that teachers want the government to give consent to teachers to let them teach kids the reality of the world in which they live, and it wants the government to have the teachers’ back while they’re doing it.

Allan said she’ll talk to the teachers about their resolution, but her priority right now is getting Bill 18, an anti-bullying bill, enacted before classes start in September.

Allan announced Monday that Manitoba is partnering with Egale Canada Human Rights Trust to provide students with resources to establish gay-straight alliances in their schools — a right which Bill 18 would guarantee.

Based in Toronto, Egale Canada Human Rights Trust is Canada’s only national charity promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans human rights through research, education and community engagement. Egale has already partnered with Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador to develop education resource kits.

(Winnipeg Free Press)