Some families of students heading back to school in New Brunswick are worried about bullying because of the province’s changes to the policy on gender identity in schools.
Policy 713 says students under 16 who are questioning their gender identity must get parental consent before teachers can use their preferred first names or pronouns.
Shawn and Amanda Rouse, parents of a transgender teen in Quispamsis, N.B., say their child has faced an increase in bullying since last spring, when the government first announced the changes to the policy.
Amanda Rouse says her 14-year-old has been called slurs and told to kill himself.
She says the bullying is a heavy burden for her child to carry and expects it to continue as schools reopen from summer break.
New Brunswick Education Minister Bill Hogan has maintained the core elements of the policy despite a report saying it violates children’s Charter rights.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 5, 2023.