Parental Inclusion and Consent Policies for Saskatchewan Schools

Statement from Living Skies Regional Council of The United Church of Canada

Living Skies Regional Council, the United Church of Canada in Saskatchewan, stands firm on its commitment to be an affirming ministry dedicated to not only working to create a safe and open environment within our communities of faith, but also challenging systems and policies that limit peoples’ rights and violate their privacy.

We as a church have deep concerns about the policy that Education Minister Dustin Duncan announced earlier this week entitled “Parental Inclusion and Consent Policies.”   It states that “as of today, schools must seek Parental/guardian permission when changing the preferred name and pronouns used by students under the age of 16 in the school” and puts significant limitations on Sexual Health Education resources.

Implemented without consultation with parents, students, teachers, or physical or mental health care providers, this policy has the potential to put students at great risk. It violates their human rights, erases their right to privacy, undermines their relationship with their teachers, increases the risk of stigma and alienation, and jeopardizes their emotional and physical security. It specifically targets transgender, non-binary and questioning students.  In addition, denying opportunities for all students to learn about their sexual health in a province with high rates of STDs and teenaged pregnancy is, at best, short sighted.

Although the policy claims it will ensure “safe school environments where all students feel included, protected and respected” and that “students must feel that they are respected and free to express themselves within a safe and welcoming school environment,” it will have precisely the opposite effect especially for trans students.

We expect the Government of Saskatchewan, mandated to represent and protect all its citizens but more specifically its most vulnerable, will immediately re-evaluate and amend this policy.

Finally, Living Skies Regional Council encourages United Church members and the public to attend demonstrations being held across the province and to contact their MLA to express concerns about this harmful policy.


Rev Darrell Reine, Convenor of The Living Skies Regional Council, The United Church of Canada, and Executive members: Ron Brandow, Doug Haroldson, Linda Gunningham, Rev Kathleen James-Cavan, Rev. Deborah Springer, Rev Piotr Strzelecki, Rev. Dave Whalley, Dale Worrall; and Executive Minister Rev Shannon McCarthy.