A few dozen people gathered in front of Moose Jaw North MLA Tim McLeod’s office on Tuesday night to protest the government’s new education policies when it comes to naming and pronouns. 

Last week, then Education Minister Dustin Duncan announced that, along with students needing parental consent to attend sex education, schools must also seek parental consent if a student under the age of 16 wants to change their name or pronoun. 

Protest organizer Chelsa Broom said the new policy puts LGBTQ+ children at risk if home isn’t a safe haven. 

“We know that, although the support of families and strong families are definitely ideal, we also know that we live in a reality where there are families out there who don’t take the news that their child wants to identify differently well,” Broom said. 

“They will respond with verbal, emotional and physical abuse and sometimes will kick their children out.” 

Duncan has said that provisions will be in the policy to protect children who could be harmed at home. 

The education minister also said the move was to standardize pronoun and naming policies for all school divisions. 

However, Broom hopes the government will reverse their decision. 

“Forty per cent of homeless youth are identified as 2SLGBTQ+, so this will have an increased impact on those types of people. I think we will see a lot of harm out of this if the government doesn’t walk back their decision,” Broom said. 

The protest heard from a number of LGBTQ+ students about the harm they believe the policy will do.  

MLA-elect Noor Burki from Coronation Park in Regina, Jared Clarke from Regina’s Walsh Acres riding, and Moose Jaw Wakamow NDP candidate Melissa Patterson were also in attendance. 

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