Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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Alberta to require parental consent for name changes in schools, places age limits on gender affirmation care

Alberta will be requiring schools to notify and gather parental consent if their child changes their names and pronouns in school.

In a social media post on Wednesday afternoon, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said the government will be requiring parental notification and consent if a child 15 years or younger changes their name and pronouns at school.

Parents of children aged 16 and 17 will not need to consent to the name and pronouns changes but will need to be notified, Smith said.

Parents will also need to be notified and be given the choice to opt-out classroom discussions and instruction on gender identity, sexual orientation or human sexuality. All third-party materials regarding these subjects must be pre-approved by the Ministry of Education, she added.

This comes after Smith said on Your Province, Your Premier last Saturday that the United Conservative government will announce its parental rights policy this week. The video was posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, and reporters were not given an opportunity to ask questions.

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“It is my view that list of adult choices includes deciding whether or not to alter one’s biological sex, making permanent and irreversible decisions regarding one’s biological sex, while still a youth can severely limit that child’s choices in the future, prematurely encouraging or enabling children to alter their very biology or natural growth, no matter how well-intentioned and sincere, poses a risk to that child’s future that I as premier, I’m not comfortable with permitting in our province,” Smith said in her video.

Smith also announced the government will be working with sporting organizations in the province to “ensure that women and girls have the choice to compete in a women’s only division in athletic competitions and are not forced to compete against biologically stronger transgender female athletes.” She added the government will ensure transgender athletes are able to “meaningfully participate” in sports.

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Our government also needs to deal with the emerging issue of the unfair disadvantages that young women and girls are experiencing when competing with biologically stronger transgender female athletes in sporting competitions,” she said in the video.

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“I strongly believe that those who are born male, but have transitioned to or identify as female, are owed the opportunity to meaningfully participate in sport. However, there are obvious biological realities that give transgender female athletes a massive competitive advantage over women and girls.”

The province will be holding a news conference on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.

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