December 8, 2019

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Steinbach trustees can't be forced into LGBTTQ awareness training: education minister

The province has offered awareness training on sexual identity issues and other assistance to Hanover School Division, Education Minister Ian Wishart said Tuesday.

But it's up to the Steinbach-based school division whether to accept, Wishart told the legislature.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES</p><p>Minister of Education and Training Ian Wishart </p>


Minister of Education and Training Ian Wishart

"We believe strongly that local school boards have a place in this process," and not all possibilities have been exhausted, Wishart said. "We will be working together with them."

Wishart has repeatedly rejected NDP demands that he intervene in Hanover over that school board's refusal to allow students and teachers to discuss issues of sexual identity in their classrooms. An openly gay Grade 12 student in the school division had brought the request to trustees.

"This is about human rights," education critic Wab Kinew said again on Tuesday.

Kinew demanded Wishart make Hanover officials undergo LGBTTQ awareness training — this after a school division meeting in Steinbach last week in which Hanover trustees debated a student's request to allow for LGBTTQ issues to be discussed in schools. Most trustees expressed their disagreement with the proposal, and one of them linked sex education to higher rates of cancer.

The province has made that training available, said Wishart, and the Manitoba School Boards Association has also offered resources to Hanover.

Hanover S.D. superintendent Randy Dueck could not be reached Tuesday.




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Updated on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 11:26 PM CDT: Correction: Removes reference to Grade 12 student's parents.

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