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Majority of Canadians Agree With NB Premier on Keeping Parents Informed About Gender Dysphoria: Poll

3 in 5 adults agree schools must tell parents if their child discusses changing genders or ‘transitioning’

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs’s update to the province’s revised education gender policy lines up with a recent poll indicating that 57 percent of Canadians think schools should have to inform parents if their child is experiencing gender dysphoria.

A national poll, conducted by Leger on behalf of think tank and released on May 11, found that three in five adults surveyed agreed that parents must be involved if their child discusses changing their gender pronouns or “transitioning” at school.

“We decided to include a question about something that we’re seeing happening in Canada. Schools are keeping parents in the dark when it comes to their children asking to change their gender pronouns, or discussing changing their gender altogether,” president Colin Craig told The Epoch Times on June 13.

Craig said the poll results aren’t surprising. “By a margin of about three to one, Canadians believe that parents want to know if their children are having any kind of struggles,” he said.

Craig said the poll results show that the public “very much expects schools to be transparent with parents,” and that the New Brunswick government “is on the right track” with what Canadians want in terms of policy.

Craig predicts that more provinces are going to have to face this issue. “The way that schools are operating conflicts with where the public opinion is. So we’re going to see butting of heads.”

“Schools cannot even give a child a Tylenol without a parent’s permission. So it’s strange that a school can engage in a deep psychological intervention with a child without telling the parent,” added Craig.

The exact question asked by the poll was, “Should schools have to let parents know about their child’s desire to change gender or have new gender pronouns.” A total of 57 percent of those surveyed said yes. Only 18 percent, less than a fifth, of those surveyed disagreed with this idea, while 25 percent didn’t know.

The poll question was broken down statistically into region, age range, gender, and if the individuals had children in their household. Of those with children, 62 percent said yes, schools have to keep parents informed. Among those without children in the household, 55 percent also said schools have to let parents know what is happening with their child.

The poll was conducted from May 5 to 7 with 1,523 online participants. The poll also asked respondents: “Thinking about the public school system over the last 20 years, curricula and teaching methods have changed as have some of the content in the lessons. In your opinion, is the public school system moving in the right direction or wrong direction to equip students with the skills they need to succeed and compete in life, work and post-secondary education?”

Fifty-one percent of those polled said schools were moving in the wrong direction, with only 25 percent indicating schools were moving in the right direction, and another 24 percent undecided.

The premier and New Brunswick’s education minister, Bill Hogan, announced on June 8 that as of July 1, students under the age of 16 cannot change their names or pronouns in school without parental consent.

The new policy requires the school to talk to students about contacting their parents on the issue, or directing the student to a mental health professional to “work with them in the development of a plan to speak with their parents if and when they are ready to do so.”

“We believe that is fundamentally wrong to not share this information with the parents if we are using [a student’s preferred name] on a daily basis,” Hogan said. “If we are using it on a daily basis, it puts teachers in a really challenging position.”

Higgs said the province had to find a solution “where we do not exclude parents in their child’s life.” He said the policy is “taking a strong position for families.”

The new policy will also implement at least one private universal washroom in every school as well as ensure there are private universal changing areas.

The Canadian Press contributed to this report.

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