Parents Have Been Heard

Last week, the Alberta government announced a series of policies to address the contentious issues of sex and gender in the classroom.

Here’s a summary of what the government has proposed:


  • Alberta will soon require parental consent for children 15 and under to change their name or pronouns at school.
  • Parents must be notified for a child 16 or 17 to change their name or pronouns at school.
  • Athletic divisions will be established exclusively for girls born biologically female and co-ed offerings will be expanded.
  • All third-party resources related to human sexuality available in Alberta classrooms must be pre-approved by the Ministry of Education to ensure they are age-appropriate.
  • Parents must be notified and opt in their child to any formal instruction involving human sexuality.


When New Brunswick announced their recognition of a parent’s responsibility over some of these matters last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau threatened to interfere in the exclusive provincial jurisdiction of education.

This, amongst other things, led us here at the Alberta Parents’ Union to launch our successful petition to “Tell Trudeau to Leave Our Kids Alone!”

Both before and since that campaign, we’ve been advocating on a wide range of parental rights, and listening to parents through public events, formal consultations, and informal conversations with hundreds of families across the province.

First, the issue of gender in sports has been raised at many of our public events over the last two years, with particular concern being expressed over contact sports, as well as the potential impact competition results could have on scholarship opportunities for students.

Having heard this feedback, we advocated for the Province to be more proactive in reaching out to student athletics governing bodies to resolve this conflict.

The government has decided to take exactly this approach not just for student athletics, but for all athletics, province wide.

Over the coming months, the Province will be engaging with sporting bodies to ensure that biologically born female athletes are able to compete in a biological female-only division, while also expanding co-ed or other gender-neutral divisions for athletic competitions to ensure that transgender athletes are also able to meaningfully participate in the sport of their choice.

Second, when we spoke with Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides in November, we called for him to take steps to restore the public trust in our school system by requiring parents to be informed and consent to name and pronoun changes at school.

Now, the government is proposing to require parental consent for children 15 and under to alter their name or pronouns used by school teachers, administration, and other educational staff, while parents must be notified if their child is aged 16 or older.

Third, one of the themes emerging from our popular curriculum consultations in October was regarding third-party resource materials or presentations related to gender identity, sexual orientation, or human sexuality being used in the classroom, without being part of the Alberta curriculum.

That’s why we ran a petition demanding the Province “Tell Us What Kids Are Learning”, and raised these issues with many stakeholders and decision makers in the months since.

In fact, the Province has decided to go a step further than this and will require that all third-party materials on these topics be pre-approved by the Ministry of Education to ensure they are age-appropriate.

We have some concerns that pre-approval could become a very bureaucratic process and, frankly, if parents are aware of all material being used in the classroom and are OK with the content, then we see no need to insert the state into those decisions.

But, approval by the Ministry does make it easier for parents to be proactively informed about what’s happening in the classroom - at least compared to receiving no information at all - so we’ll be watching developments on this issue closely to ensure parents are informed.

As we’ve said all along, “We think parents have the best sense of what is age-appropriate for their kids.”

That brings us to the fourth significant change, which further addresses these objections to outside materials.

For some time, we have been pointing out the shortcomings with existing Alberta law which only requires parents be given an opportunity to opt their kids out of classroom instruction that is primarily and explicitly about human sexuality.

Most notably, the Alberta Teachers’ Association produced the PRISM Toolkit, which taught teachers how to evade Alberta’s existing notification law.

The new policy means that parents will now need to be notified and opt in to any instance when a teacher provides formal instruction on subject matter involving gender identity, sexual orientation, or human sexuality.

The opt in is also superior to an opt out because it means that the onus is on schools to provide parents with enough to motivate us to affirmatively opt in, rather than incentivizing schools to give parents as little information as possible, so that things go unnoticed.

When we launched the Alberta Parents’ Union less than two years ago, our mission was clear: to make the voice of parents impossible to ignore.

I think we can safely say that we achieved this goal.

The government’s policy announcement doesn’t mean our work is done.

Far from it.

But it’s fair to say that parents’ voices have been heard more clearly than any of the other so-called “experts” could even understand!

- Jeff and the Alberta Parents’ Union Team


Showing 2 comments

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
Secured Via NationBuilder
  • Dmitri Rozmanov
    followed this page 2024-03-20 11:28:01 -0600
  • Alberta Parents' Union
    published this page in News 2024-03-11 22:51:49 -0600