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A human rights complaint has been filed by a couple from Steinbach against the Hanover School Division.

Michelle McHale and Karen Phillips say the complaint is over the division's policy on discussing sexual orientation in the classroom.

2016 06 coupleKaren Phillips (left) and Michelle McHale (right) at June vigil for Orlando shootingsMcHale appeared before the school board in April, concerned about the discrimination against homosexuals in schools. At the time, the division stated it follows provincial curriculum.

The complaint summary states:

This complaint addresses the fundamental rights of children to a public education free from discrimination. LGBTTQ students and students with LGBTTQ parents or family have a right to feel safe, included and supported in their school programs and experiences. The provision of these services and programs cannot be done in a discriminatory manner.

The practices and actions of the Hanover School Division (HSD) and the Hanover School Division Board of Trustees have effectively excluded sexual orientation and gender identity from discussion in elementary and middle years classrooms. This is discriminatory and a breach of The Human Rights Code.

This discrimination is compounded by the inclusion of sexual orientation as a "sensitive topic" in HSD policies and by the disrespectful words and actions of specific Board trustees in dealing with the substantive issues raised in this complaint.

On Monday, Board Chair Ron Falk issued the following statement:

"Hanover School Division has not yet received an official notice of the Human Rights Complaint filed on behalf of Ms. McHale. Until we have had opportunity to review contents of the complaint, no further statement will be issued."

Read the complete complaint here

 

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