The controversy that arose over the Vancouver School Board's updates to its sexual orientation and gender identities policy is not over yet.
On October 31, a group of Vancouver parents filed a petition in B.C. Supreme Court to request a judicial review of the Vancouver School Board's policy, which was updated in June.
Xiaofeng Huang, Yuen Ching Li, and Shaohui Liu claim that the policy violates the School Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The two points of the policy that the parents are concerned about, according to lawyer Masao Morinaga, are trans* students being permitted to use the washroom and change rooms of their choice and whether or not parents will be informed about their child's gender-related behaviour in school.
The petition is also challenging the policy's use of the term trans*, rather than the terms transgender or transsexual, due to concerns that the umbrella term trans* is too wide-ranging.
Morinaga clarified with the Georgia Straight that the petitioners are not against other parts of the policy.
The petition includes 187 affidavits: 178 are from parents and 9 include VSB material obtained following a Freedom of Information request.
On June 16, VSB trustees voted 7-2 to approve the changes to clarify the details of the board's 2004 sexual orientation and gender identities policy.
The two trustees who voted against the policy, Ken Denike and Sophia Woo, were expelled from the Non-Partisan Association on June 13 for launching a news conference before the vote that the party regarded as lacking sensitivity and understanding of the LGBT community. Denike and Woo suggested that the policy could lead to a decline in enrolment of international students.
In reaction to Denike and Woo's actions, Vision school board chair Patti Bacchus had emphasized in a news release that the school board is committed to developing "a learning environment that is safe and inclusive for students of all backgrounds, including LGBTTQ students”.
The policy was designed to help create a more inclusive environment for students, particularly those who are trans, and to address transphobia issues (which can affect all students).
Denike and Woo are running for re-election with the Vancouver First party. Bacchus is also running for re-election under the Vision Vancouver banner.
The VSB has not yet filed a response to the petition.
Correction: An earlier version of this article mistakenly suggested that Ken Denike and Sophia Woo had suggested that the LBGTQ+ policy could lead to a decline in Vancouver real-estate values. That error has been corrected.