Saturday, August 26, 2023

This week in stupid: from Sask Ed policies, to Trump-fatigue, to Trudeau polls

What a stupid week it has been! 
First, Saskatchewan is following New Brunswick's lead and requiring teachers to deadname trans students. 
But this isn't an issue of "parent's rights". It's an issue of respect for students. 
Teachers know this. 
Our Scott Moe government apparently does not. Rallies are being organized against Sask Ed: Star Phoenix reporter Julia Peterson writes a very comprehensive article about the Saskatoon rally this weekend: "I think there's going to be an army there': Advocates to rally in Saskatoon against new Sask. education policies
...Fran Forsberg is one of the organizers of a rally set to take place Sunday afternoon at Saskatoon MLA Don Morgan’s office, where she and others will voice their opposition to the policies. 
When Forsberg heard about the new policies on Tuesday, she recalled a conversation she had with now-Education Minister Dustin Duncan about rights and dignity for transgender people in Saskatchewan more than six years ago. 
“He said to me that he was a 40-year-old from (Weyburn), so he didn’t really understand or know about all this,” she said. “And I said, in this day and age, where this information is so readily available, his kind of ignorance is not acceptable. 
 “Now, he’s had a lot of time to learn. And I’m older than him by 20 years. I learned about transgender people. I educated myself and I understand how important this issue is. What’s his excuse?” 
 Jolene Brown, who sits on the board of Prince Albert Pride, says these new policies are “harming more than helping, while pretending to help.” Prince Albert Pride is calling on the government to rescind Tuesday’s announcement. 
 “To me, this policy change is not positive,” said Brown. “It solves no existing problem. It just shackles teachers’ ability to help (and) all this is doing is removing resources. It’s putting a cage around teachers, and it’s putting a cage around kids, too. I just can’t imagine how a parent would want that.” 
 Forsberg says schools need to be a safe place for children to be themselves — whether or not they come from an accepting home. 
 “Being a foster parent, I’ve seen so many kids literally kicked out of their homes because of their sexual or gender diversity,” she said. “I’ve seen physical violence towards these children and youth.
“The government is saying this is for the safety and well-being of children and youth, but I think they’re just pandering to the far-right. It’s ridiculous, and it’s so backwards.” 
Brenda Montgrand, who works as a school counsellor at Hector Thiboutot Community School in the village of Sandy Bay, says that especially in remote, isolated communities like hers schools need to be safe havens for LGBTQ2S+ youth. 
 “They hang out in the school, even after classes in the evening,” she said. “If I was doing something in the evening — even showing a movie and having a talk about it afterwards — they’ll stay for that. Because a lot of them don’t want to go home. It’s not comfortable there, or they may not feel safe. So it’s nice to have them here, and we don’t mind being there for them.” 
Some of Montgrand’s gay, trans and two-spirit students have recently started a GSA. She says these students are “brave, and they want to do something,” and eager to learn more about their own identities and those of their friends. 
“We want to be able to talk openly amongst each other,” she said. “We all need to be able to look and talk more openly. But we need more, in that area, for them to learn about what it is to live a gay life and to be more comfortable. And if these kids are getting treated differently because they’re changing how they want to be called, that’s going to have an effect on them.” 
 Forsberg also worries about how the changes to sex education in schools will affect the rates of STIs and unplanned pregnancies in Saskatchewan, which are already much higher than the national average.
“When we know better, we do better,” she said. “This education can do nothing but help kids make the right decisions for them. I know of nobody who has ever been harmed by too much education; quite the contrary.” ...
More protests and commentary here:
The Sask Party is manufacturing a trans-panic to pander to the far right. It isn't going to work: In the United States, Republicans are already realizing that rage farming about trans panics aren't going to be a winning issue for them:
Next, isn't everybody absolutely sick and tired of hearing about Trump now? 
But these are funny:

On a serious note, this worries me, too: Finally, I guess we're supposed to start thinking that Trudeau is toast. OMG, I hope not:
Scrimshaw writes tonight LPC: Together. Alone 
...Everyone acting like Poilievre is going to win as a pro-forma certainty at this point is overreading this data. He’s Spieth at Augusta, but what we don’t know is whether this is 2015, where he cruised to a then-course record, or 2016, when he collapsed down the stretch. 
 ... Things are bad for the Liberals, and much worse than I thought they’d be. Poilievre is still an Opposition Leader with exploitable flaws, but this is on the verge of becoming a government unable to exploit them. And more importantly, if the government doesn’t find some fucking courage, a policy agenda fit for purpose, and some fucking energy, then none of the other stuff matters.... 
When Harper defeated Martin in 2006, we lost national day care and the Kelowna Accords. I do NOT want to see that kind of regression happen again --we had to wait another decade, until Trudeau got elected in 2015, before Canada could make progress again. I expect Poilievre would gleefully and purposefully dismantle every single thing that Trudeau has accomplished since 2015, plus abandon Ukraine and allow abortion to be criminalized again. 
So I really really hope those polls are wrong.

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