For Immediate Release

August 23, 2023

Saskatchewan – SEIU-West is profoundly disappointed and frustrated by the misguided directives announced yesterday by Education Minister Dustin Duncan.

“School is hard, doubly so if you are queer. But you know what doesn’t make school easier? Kicking kids out of the closet against their will.” said Jae Blakley, co-chair of the SEIU-West Gender and Sexual Diversity Committee.

Barb Cape, President of SEIU-West, added “As a parent and ally to the gender and sexually diverse communities, I believe what should matter most is that students know that they are supported, that they are not judged for who they are. I agree that schools should be a safe space for gender diverse kids. We should be teaching love and acceptance in our schools alongside a fact based, comprehensive sexual education curriculum.”

Members of the SEIU-West Gender and Sexual Diversity Committee have agreed that outing kids to their parents can have devastating consequences. Trans kids face higher rates of violence, homelessness, self-harm, and suicide. If a child or teen has not identified their gender or sexuality to their parents, it is because they have reason to believe it is not safe to do so. As a community, we all share an obligation to protect queer and trans youth.

Cape questioned “Who did the Minister of Education consult with? We would encourage him and his ministry to talk with the queer and trans community, along with health and sexuality experts who can inform and advise on the impact of this sort of decision. This appears to be a knee jerk decision looking for a problem to solve – not an informed policy that will support and encourage better learning environments for all students.”

Service Employees International Union West (SEIU-West) represents over 13,000 people across Saskatchewan. They include people who work in health care, education, municipalities, community-based organizations, retirement homes, and other sectors. They are joined by one colour – purple – and one union – SEIU-West. Visit to find out more about SEIU-West members.


For more information, contact:
Angie Kells
Project Coordinator, SEIU-West
306-652-1011 ext. 2225

Click here for a printable PDF of this Media Release.

Latest posts

Take action

Virtual Bulletin Board