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UCP won't support gay-straight alliance law protecting student privacy

Last Updated Nov 7, 2017 at 4:20 pm MST

United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney speaks to reporters the day after being elected the first official leader of the new party in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

EDMONTON – Alberta’s United Conservatives say they won’t support a proposed law that leaves it to students to decide whether to tell their parents if they join a gay-straight alliance.

Leader Jason Kenney says parents have the ultimate responsibility for their child’s education, and teachers need flexibility to keep them in the loop if necessary on issues like gay-straight alliances.

The alliances are peer support clubs set up by students in schools to promote understanding and help prevent LGBTQ students from being abused or bullied.

Kenney proposed earlier this year that parents be notified unless telling the parents could put the child at risk.

In response, Education Minister David Eggen introduced Bill 24 last week to make it illegal for teachers to tell parents, saying that gay-straight alliances are school social clubs and Kenney’s plan would out kids.

Kenney says his proposal will not lead to gay students being outed and any suggestion to the contrary is, in his words, “offensive and dishonest.”