EPSB.ca » Our Division » Topics of Interest » Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Our Division promotes welcoming, inclusive, safe and healthy working and learning environments for everyone, regardless of a person's actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. We are proud to be the first school jurisdiction in both Alberta and the Prairies to develop a comprehensive stand-alone policy and administrative regulation to support sexual and gender diverse (2SLGBTQIA+) students, staff and families.
In addition to the Board of Trustees’ Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity policy and our administrative regulation, we strive to provide sexual and gender diverse groups with ongoing opportunities to engage with the school, one another and the community.
Division consultants provide guidance to support and sustain GSAs, previously known as gay-straight alliances, including:
Every school has at least one staff member trained as a Safe Contact to:
Division consultants support school communities in creating safe spaces and inclusive learning environments for all sexual and gender diverse staff, students and families.
The annual Alberta GSA Conference was held in Edmonton in November 2022 at Ross Sheppard High School. Students and teachers from across the province learned strategies to help create, support and sustain student GSAs and about 2SLGBTQIA+ youth issues through workshops and resource displays. The next annual GSA conference will be held in Edmonton during the 2023–24 school year.
On the last Wednesday of every February, a sea of pink sweeps across the Division as staff and students promote a safe, inclusive and supportive environment for all students regardless of their actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity or gender expression. The national Pink Shirt Day initiative originates from a story of bystander empowerment, and has since spread across the country with millions of Canadians taking part each year.
At the Edmonton Public School board meeting on May 28, 2019, trustees voted unanimously to declare the first week of June each year to be Pride Week in the Division. Schools are encouraged to participate and show their support for 2SLGBTQIA+ students, staff and families. You can share messages of acceptance and pride using the hashtags #PrideInEducation and #EPSB on social media.
These resources can be helpful for students, families and the community as a whole: