A trustee with Border Land School Division feels everyone left a recent meeting with a certain level of understanding. Jake Fehr was one of the school officials that met with nineteen clergy from throughout the Division to outline what's happening in Manitoba with regards to gender diversity and some eventual challenges that Border Land will face.
"We wanted to make sure we were open and honest, especially those people that deal with questions from the public which is usually the clergy, and we wanted to get them all in one room and have a good discussion."
Board Vice Chair Patty Wiebe says the trustees wanted to make sure that the correct information was being shared.
"We felt that when the public went to clergy to ask them questions then we all had the same information, so they knew provincially what is mandated to us, they knew what we are doing as a school division. We wanted to be very open and transparent about what is happening and what our plans are for the future..."
Fehr adds communication can prevent a lot of bad blood between various groups in a community and this is something the board will have to keep in mind for the future.
"If they have the right information, the correct information, they feel like they're not being kept in the dark or that information is not being withheld it goes a long way to improving a situation."
Some of the clergy that took part in the meeting where part of the Rhineland and Area Ministerial Group. Former Chair Virginia Gerbrandt-Richert feels the evening was very well done and positive.
"(Trustees) gave us a nice handout that outlined what they're doing and why, experiences from other school divisions in Manitoba and what they've been doing - where (BLSD) has been resourcing its information - and how this is impacting the students and how (the Board) is trying to make this as smooth as possible."
Gerbrandt-Richert adds communication is always good and that being open and honest about what is going on is helpful.
"I do feel that in situations like this on topics like this that are somewhat controversial and hard to talk about, people do go to their church and talk about them so for the school division to acknowledge that is also very important."