The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is currently evaluating whether or not it should allow LGBTQ students to change their preferred names in their school’s IT systems without having prior parental approval.
According to a report by the LGBTQS Community Advisory Committee, the committee has a table working with human rights groups to discuss the matter.
“In our student information system (SIS), there is a legal name and preferred name field. There is a table working with Human Rights to discuss what students have access to change on their profile without parental consent,” the report writes.
As part of the consultation process, the committee hopes to invite IT professionals and others to further discuss the potential change.
True North reached out to the committee for further details on the matter but did not hear back by the time this article was published.
Gender transitions by youth and teenagers has been a contentious issue as an increasing number of teens have considered transitioning into their preferred gender.
Critics of allowing youth to transition have argued that the “experimental” nature of treatment and other issues puts kids at risk.
In March, a different TDSB motion called on free feminine hygiene products to be provided in all 72 Ontario public schools for “people who menstruate.”
The motion titled “Access to Free Menstrual Products for Students in Ontario Schools” was presented before the TDSB Program and School Services Committee.
It argued that a “lack of access due to economic factors — often referred to as ‘period poverty’ — impacts people who menstruate around the world and can be especially damaging at puberty, when school interactions are crucial to a student’s development.”
The motion also claimed that requiring students to ask for such items violated their privacy and the hygiene products should be provided without the intermediary step of requesting the items.
Since 2019, TDSB schools have already been accommodating students by providing free menstrual products to girls upon request.