Central Okanagan School District office on Hollywood Road in Kelowna. (File)

Central Okanagan School District introduces gender neutral language into policies

Edits include implementing more gender neutral pronouns like “they”

The Central Okanagan board of education has approved amendments to make three of their discrimination policies gender neutral.

Changes include switching wording from “women or men” to “people of any gender”, including the “+” sign into their current LGBTQ terminology and changing pronouns like “his/her” into gender neutral language like “their”.

The changes mean there will be approximately seven minor edits made over nine pages of school board documents.

READ MORE: Letter: LGBTQ2 are part of ‘our’ Canada

During a review of the school policies last year, students of the district’s human rights committee helped to make the proposed changes in the documents.

Superintendent of Central Okanagan Public Schools Kevin Kardaal said the changes will help give more understanding of LGBTQS+ terminology.

“The term bi-sexual will no longer refer to just men or women in terms of sexual involvement emotionally or romantically with another gender.”

“It could be someone whose transitioning, transsexual, or someone who identifies as another gender.”

Steps have already been made to support the LGBTQ2S+ community in the province. In 2017, the B.C. government launched a three-year diversity and inclusion action plan to help recruit, develop and retain a diverse talent pool in the workplace.

At the Wednesday meeting, the school district also approved a policy which clarified how district employees should go about reporting threats of violence in the workplace.


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