Ken Denike and Sophia Woo only Vancouver trustees to vote against gender identity amendments
Vancouver school trustees have voted 7-2 in favour of revisions to the sexual orientation and gender identities policy and regulations.
The amendments give trans students the opportunity to choose washrooms and change rooms that suit their gender identity.
In addition, students' confidentiality will be respected by the Vancouver board of education if they're experiencing gender-identity issues or wanting to express their gender openly in schools.
After the vote, Vision trustees took to Twitter to express their pleasure over the outcome.
Patti Bacchus, the chair, declared: "PROUD to be on the right side of history with @VSB39's revised Sexual Orientation & Gender Identities Policy & Regs. #vsb"
Mike Lombardi tweeted: "Proud that the VSB has made our schools safer & more inclusive by adopting the rev LGBTTQ policy."
Cherie Payne sent the following message over Twitter: "Danced on my first float in my first Pride Parade in 1994. Voting yes on VSB LGBT policy? Great way round out 20 yrs!"
A large crowd showed up at the board offices to witness the vote, which came after more than 90 speakers appeared at three meetings in May.
All six Vision trustees and the NPA's Fraser Ballantyne voted in favour.
Trustees Ken Denike and Sophia Woo were opposed. The NPA caucus expelled both of them on June 13 after they held a news conference criticizing the policy amendments, claiming that support for LGBT students could have an impact on the West Side real-estate market.
The Vancouver board of education's policy statement declares that it's "committed to establishing and maintaining a safe, inclusive, equitable, and welcoming learning and working environment for all members of the school community, regardless of real or perceived sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions, which include lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, Two-Spirit, queer, and those who are questioning (LGBTTQ+)".
The board has also committed itself to "ensure that complaints of discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression are taken seriously and dealt with expeditiously and effectively through consistently applied policy and procedures".