Premier Scott Moe says it will be up to the school divisions to figure out potential punishments for any teachers who don’t follow the province’s new pronoun policy.
His comments to reporters at the legislature on Tuesday comes after dozens of teachers recently signed a petition stating they won’t follow the policy – which was recently made provincial law.
The Parents’ Bill of Rights requires parental consent if a youth under the age of 16 wants to be referred to by a different pronoun or name at school.
“I guess we would ask the school divisions at some point, ‘What is the policy that you have in place when you have an employee that isnt following not only a policy, but it is now the law of the province?’” Moe said in response to the question of how to enforce the rule.
“I dont know what those protocols are, and if they differ between various school divisions. But its an inquiry that we may make at some point in time, but I have not made it yet.”
A total of 27 school divisions make up Saskatchewan’s education system.
NDP Leader Carla Beck maintained that the issue of enforcement and its effects were very foreseeable.
“This was a concern that was raised many times when we were in the emergency session. Our bottom line is that Bill 137 should be scrapped,” she told reporters.
“There were all these reasonably foreseeable consequences of that bill; for teachers how that would be handled, for school boards, for social workers who have a code of ethics and the Child Protection Act.”
Beck said the issue is a consequence of a lack of consultation with the education sector.
“Again, this was an ill thought out bill that was done without consultation,” she said.
“Had they consulted, they would have understood that these issues – and I dont think weve seen all of them – would come to light.”