OCDSB Statement Regarding Delegation at March 7 Meeting

OCDSB Statement Regarding Delegation at March 7 Meeting
Posted on 03/10/2023
OCDSB Statement Regarding Delegation at March 7 Meeting

At the OCDSB Committee of the Whole meeting on March 7, 2023 the acting chair of the meeting ruled that a presentation from a delegate was out of order and was not allowed to continue.

In making a written submission to be a delegate at the March 7th meeting, the individual asked to speak about issues regarding inclusivity in the context of helping defuse conflict and bullying and ensuring the safety and mental health of students. Once the individual began their presentation it was clear the intention was to speak in opposition to trans students using washrooms according to their gender identity, which was not the topic presented in the delegate’s submission. Due to concerns that the presentation was transphobic and could be used to promote hate or discrimination against trans youth, the chair ruled the delegation out of order.

Following the ruling of the acting chair made in consultation with staff, the meeting went into recess. A group of adults attending the meeting was angry about the ruling and were asked to leave. The Ottawa Police Service was also notified and later came to the OCDSB office. The individuals left before police arrived.

Public meetings are an important part of the democratic process. We continue to review our practices to ensure trustees, staff and members of the public can engage and discuss issues in a safe and respectful manner. 

The OCDSB reaffirms our commitment to cultivating safe working and learning spaces where trans and gender-diverse students, staff, family members and community can express their authentic self and feel welcomed and belonging. Individually held beliefs or feelings of discomfort are not a justifiable reason for discriminating against trans and gender-diverse community members.

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