In a lesson on gender-bending, an Ottawa School District told first graders that “boys and girls do not exist.” When their daughter came home traumatized because she was told that she did not exist, her parents decided to sue the school.
It’s at times like this we wish we knew a good trauma counselor. Those kids will need one.
[The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms] The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (www.jccf.ca) is representing a young girl (“NB”) and her mother in an application before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal against the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, the child’s former teacher and the principal of the school. The family brought the claim for discrimination on the basis of gender identity, for teaching NB and her class there are no such things as girls or boys. NB identifies strongly as a girl.
The amended application includes a claim for discrimination on the basis of sex, and notes the child’s rights to security of the person and equality under sections 7 and 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms have also been infringed.
In the early part of 2018, NB was a 6-year old student in a grade one class taught by “JB”. The teacher showed the class a YouTube video entitled, “He, She, and They?!? – Gender: Queer Kid Stuff #2”. The video contained a number of statements about gender identity, and asserted that “some people aren’t boys or girls” and that those who do not feel like a ‘she’ or a ‘he’ might not have a gender. In order to determine who is a girl or a boy – or neither, the video says, all you have to do is ask someone their pronouns.
On another occasion, JB drew a gender spectrum on the board and asked each student to identify where they fit on the spectrum. NB indicated that she was on the furthest end of the spectrum marked “girl.” JB then told the class that “girls are not real, and boys are not real.” This was extremely upsetting to NB.
NB went home and told her parents, repeatedly asking why her identity as a girl was “not real.” She stated that she was not sure if she wanted to be a mommy when she grew up, and asked if she could “go to the doctor” about this issue. NB also expressed feeling that she “had to do something” about the fact that she is a girl. This followed a lesson by JB on the concepts of gender spectrum and sex changes.
Neither the school nor JB obtained parental consent to teach this young child that her sense of self as a girl was a fiction. JB’s conduct undermined their daughter’s foundational concept of identity, and also contradicted biological reality, the application alleges.
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[Editor’s Note: This article was a press release written by Lisa Bildy and first published by The Justice Center, introduction added and title changed by P&P]