Letters: Rights of Saskatchewan students supersede those of parents

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Re: The Saskatchewan Party government’s policy requiring parental consent for students under age 16 wishing to change their preferred names and pronouns.

For all children and youth wishing to change gender or identify as non-binary, I wish they could feel safe and secure enough to discuss this with their parents. Sadly, this is not always so.

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Those parents whose children do not feel comfortable broaching the subject with them should ask themselves why that is. Some soul searching is in order.

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I recently spoke with a person who voiced support for the new government policy. This person then went on to express disgust at seeing someone going through gender transition.

No wonder educators do not want to risk subjecting their students to this kind of vitriol at home by being forced to out them. Not everyone may understand what drives a person to change gender, but it is not for any of us to judge, not even parents.

This is a situation of competing rights. The right of students to safety and security trumps other rights in this instance, including parents’ rights.

Compelling teachers to out their students is taking a sledge hammer to a situation that requires finesse. Unfortunately, finesse is not the strong suit of our current provincial government.

It’s better to let educators and school guidance counsellors respond case by case, applying their professional knowledge and skill in determining the best course of action.

Katherine Fitzpatrick, Saskatoon

Moe attacking vulnerable children

I’m appalled by the Saskatchewan Party’s recent proposal to out trans and queer youth to their parents and change name and pronoun policies. These young people are already vulnerable, and Scott Moe and Dustin Duncan want to chip away what little safety and freedom they have.

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These changes violate not just the Charter rights of these young people, but also the UN Convention on the Rights of Children, which Canada ratified in 1991.

Instead of creating policies that make Saskatchewan a more livable and affordable place — which, with inflation escalating at an alarming pace, is an urgent issue — Scott Moe and his myrmidons are choosing to distract and divide us by catering to a hateful minority.

Moe makes these decisions because he does not give a single damn about the people of Saskatchewan.

He views us with contempt, even the people who vote for him. He believes we are ignorant. When he looks out his office window, he does not see human beings full of potential. He sees insects.

Only a petty, childish, hateful person completely devoid of feeling and humanity would propose the policies he and his party have.

If Moe and Duncan have even a sliver of conscience between them, they must resign as atonement to help restore confidence in the Saskatchewan government and balance in this beautiful province.

Adam Pottle, Saskatoon

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