When a transgender teacher reached a deal in 2010 with the Greater St. Albert Catholic School District, he gave up his right to have his complaint heard by the provincial human rights commission, the Alberta Court of Appeal has ruled.
Jan Buterman said he was disappointed by Friday’s ruling.
“My quick read of it is this looks like probably we’ve come to the end of this long and gruelling process,” he said. “But I don’t know. There might be other possibilities I’m not aware of. We’ll be assessing every option available to us and then deciding at some point which one to pursue.”
In a written statement, superintendent David Keohane said the school board has been advised of the decision and had no further comment.
Nearly 9 years of legal wrangling
In October 2008, Buterman was removed from the board’s roster of substitute teachers after he notified them he was a transgender person in the process of transitioning from female to male.
“Since you have made a personal choice to change your gender, which is contrary to Catholic teachings, we have had no choice but to remove you from the substitute teaching list,” the board wrote at the time.
A year later, Buterman filed a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission.
The next day, the board offered him $78,000 if he’d agree to withdraw his complaint. The board asked him to promise not to make any further complaints to the human rights commission and agree to keep the deal confidential.
Buterman rejected the offer.
‘It is surprising, I think, to many that this has been kind of all on procedural side issues.’
– Jan Buterman
In Sept. 2010, the board made a different offer to Buterman. That offer was also rejected, but Buterman’s lawyer replied in writing that his client was willing to accept the original offer.
The same day, the board confirmed the original offer still stood, and the two parties went back and forth about making minor changes to the…