GSAs protected under privacy laws

EDMONTON- Alberta’s privacy commissioner has issued an advisory about the privacy rights of students amid debate over gay-straight alliances in schools.

Commissioner Jill Clayton says she felt an advisory was necessary because she’s been following the debate over provincial legislation to reform the education system.

Bill 6 would remove a specific ban on schools informing parents whether a student is in a GSA and Clayton says she hopes the advisory will give school boards and private schools a better understanding of their obligations to student privacy.

The advisory states the disclosure of any personal information, including someone’s membership in a voluntary student organization, must be in accordance with Alberta’s privacy laws and that the ability to control one’s own information is at the core of those laws.