Greg Luterbach, Superintendent of Rocky View Schools is responding to the province's recent announcement on legislation regarding transgender youth that it intends to implement this fall

In a written statement, Luterbach said that Rocky View Schools is committed to ensuring all 28,600 plus students experience success in environments inclusive of every learner where they feel safe and belong.

"Any new requirements from the government that may affect students in our schools will be thoroughly reviewed. RVS wants to reassure all our students, families and staff that we remain dedicated to the safety and well-being of every student in our care."

A set of policies that were announced by Premier Danielle Smith late last week include the need for parents to consent for their child aged 15 and under to alter their name or pronouns used by school teachers, administration and other educational staff.

"Parents must be notified for their child aged 16 or 17 to alter their name or pronouns used by school teachers, administration and other educational staff."

Parents will also need to be notified and opt in to any instance when a teacher provides formal instruction on a subject matter involving gender identity, sexual orientation or human sexuality.

"All third-party resource materials or presentations related to gender identity, sexual orientation or human sexuality available in Alberta classrooms must be pre-approved by the Ministry of Education to ensure they are age-appropriate," the province added.

Other prohibitive measures include prohibiting gender reassignment surgeries for minors 17 and under.

Last week, The Alberta Teacher's Association's Present, Jason Schilling, released a statement in response to the new policies.

"Our primary concern is the safety and wellness of all students. I am worried about how today’s announcement will impact the safety of some of our most vulnerable students," the statement read in part.

Schilling added that the policy direction intended by the government is broad-reaching and that there are pieces of the policies announced that have the potential to impact the culture and operation of schools. 

"We are concerned about the chilling effect placed on classrooms and schools, impacting our ability to provide safe, caring and inclusive spaces for all students. Transgender youth are 5 times more likely to think about suicide and nearly 8 times more likely to attempt it than other children. We must be mindful of the vulnerability of these students and their need for safety, security and support."

When asked if there would be penalties for disobeying the policies, Smith did not give a clear answer, stating that the government would be seeking consultation on how to implement the policies. 

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