NBASW Feedback for Child and Youth Advocate's Review of Policy 713
Earlier this year, the Government of New Brunswick's Department of Education and Early Childhood Development issued a review of Policy 713, a Policy originally implemented in 2020 to set minimum requirements for schools to create a safe, welcoming, inclusive, and affirming school environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and two-spirited (LGBTQIA2+) students.
Upon learning of the review, the NBASW echoed concerns of the Child and Youth Advocate regarding the Government's decision to review the Policy. The NBASW took a stance on the matter by urging provincial Government to recall the decision to review the Policy to maintain the safety of LGBTQIA2+ students. Many organizations followed suit and issued statements of their own with the same call to action.
Policy 713 was modified in May and, effective June 1, 2023, reflects select changes. Notably, a change that no longer enforces teachers to call students under 16 by their preferred names or pronouns. With the changes no longer adequately protecting students of the LGBTQIA2+ community, the Child and Youth Advocate's Office has undergone a review of the Policy changes that will soon be submitted to Provincial Government, and asked the NBASW for feedback to further inform the review. The NBASW has submitted its feedback, highlighting the importance of reversing the changes brought to Policy 713.