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New Brunswick school district takes province to court over gender identity policy

FREDERICTON — A New Brunswick school district has gone to court to avoid being forced to apply the province’s gender identity policy for students.

Anglophone East School District says in a preliminary motion filed this week that the policy violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Constitution, as well as the province’s Human Rights Act and Education Act.

Policy 713 requires parents’ consent before teachers can use the preferred name or pronouns for transgender or nonbinary students under 16 years old.

Anglophone East says Education Minister Bill Hogan has threatened to dissolve school districts if they don’t adhere to the policy.

The district says that to minimize harm to LGBTQ students, it has chosen to allow children under 16 to be referred to by their preferred names and pronouns without parental approval.

Policy 713 has received widespread criticism from advocates for LGBTQ students, while Premier Blaine Higgs has said parents must be informed if their children are questioning their gender identity.

The allegations have not been tested in court and Hogan did not immediately return a request for comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 5, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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