REGINA - A professor who researches sexual and gender youth issues says he’s concerned naming and pronoun changes in Saskatchewan schools could cause other governments in Canada to adopt similar policies.
Kristopher Wells, the Canada Research Chair for the public understanding of sexual and gender minority youth, said the new policy requiring parental consent when children under 16 want to change their names or pronouns is part of a larger trend in North America.
In June, New Brunswick’s Progressive Conservative government’s decided to require children under 16 to have parental consent before they can change their names or pronouns at school.
“I think, sadly, these conservative governments feel that there is an audience for this,” Wells said in an interview Wednesday.
The Saskatchewan Party government announced its policy move Tuesday. Education Minister Dustin Duncan said the decision was made to standardize policies across all school divisions, and he had also heard concerns on the issue from parents and teachers.
“Parents must be included in all important decisions involving their children,” Premier Scott Moe said online after the announcement.