Doug Ford just replaced the modern sex-ed curriculum with a 1998 version
Young people in Ontario will no longer learn about such things as same-sex marriage, cyber bullying and the dangers of sexting — at least not from their teachers, because none of these things existed in Canada 20 years ago.
Ontario's new PC government announced on Wednesday that it would be replacing the province's modern sex-ed curriculum from 2015 with a much older version of the program; one that hasn't been updated since 1998.
Imagine ON's sex ed policy applied to sciences. Circa 1998: Pluto still a planet. Existence of dark matter not yet confirmed. Major advances in stem cell research ignored. In social sciences: no social media, Jean Chretien is still PM, we pretend print journalism still dominates.— Emmett Macfarlane (@EmmMacfarlane) July 11, 2018
"The sex-ed component is going to be reverted back to the manner in which it was prior to the changes that were introduced by the Liberal government," said Education Minister Lisa Thompson today at Queen's Park.
"We're going to be moving very swiftly with our consultations and I will be sharing with your our process in the weeks to come."
The news, while confusing to many, should come as a surprise to none.
Why is the Ontario government working so hard to deny children and youth access to vital information that can protect them from harm? We knew that this was coming but how disappointing they are pushing us back to 1998 curriculum. #SexEdSavesLives https://t.co/7mM2JljmOY #Onpoli— Farrah Khan (@farrahsafiakhan) July 11, 2018
The province's newly-minted Premier Doug Ford, who secured a majority win for the Progressive Conservatives in June, had promised voters many times that he'd repeal and replace the Liberal government's controversial sex-ed curriculum during the course of his campaign.
Based on this, nearly 50,000 had already signed an online petition asking the Premier to reconsider his stance before today's announcement.
"The curriculum was designed and written by experts in child development, internet safety, police, and social workers, in consultation with roughly 4,000 parents," reads the petition.
"Youth deserve scientific facts and unbiased information when it comes to their health," it continues. "It's simple: society will suffer if we don't educate children in these topics."
As a Kdg teacher I remember the need for conversations with young children on respect of our bodies. Ford plans to repeal our consent-based Health curriculum. #ETT #ETFO Add your name to demand he doesn't. https://t.co/7kMA8736qQ #onpoli https://t.co/JIZs9v5b8U via @leadnowca— Yolanda B'Dacy (@yolanda_bdacy) July 6, 2018
Religious groups like the Campaign Life Coalition were very vocal in their criticism of Ontario's modern sex-ed lesson plan when it was introduced in 2015, calling it "radical" and decrying lessons about the "immoral practice" of masturbation and "the idea that being male or female is merely a 'social construct'."
The group also took up issue with schools teaching anything about the LGBTQ community, writing that such lessons would "normalize homosexual family structures and homosexual 'marriage' in the minds of 8-year-olds, without regard for the religious/moral beliefs of families."
Many, many others in Ontario are speaking out today in defence of the 2015 curriculum, as its 2018 and we live in Canada, where gay marriage is legal and the majority of Grade 8 students have accessed hardcore porn.
Shame on the @OntarioPCParty for pandering to a minority group of religious and misinformed fundamentalists. You should call yourselves the regressive conservatives. This is completely ridiculous. #ontario #onpoli #education #canada #dougford https://t.co/uFJ17Kb7Qo— | t y | (@ty_the_np) July 11, 2018
If all goes as planned for the PCs, the 1998 sex-ed curriculum will replace the 2015 version in the coming school year.
This will eliminate lessons about the proper names for body parts and genitals in Grade 1, the concept of same-sex relationships in Grade 3, online safety in Grade 4, and sexual consent in Grade 6.
"Going backwards in terms of keeping our kids safe and giving them the information they need to stay safe is not the right direction," said NDP Leader Andrew Horwath at Queen's Park today in response to the move.
Ontario's education minister says sex-ed curriculum taught in coming year will be older version, pre-dating social media and equal marriage. The bigots leading the bigots.— Michael Coren (@michaelcoren) July 11, 2018
"We worked hard to make sure that everyone in Ontario feels that they are respected, that they are able to be who they are, able to have opportunity, able to be free of violence and hate," she said.
"And anything that starts to erode people’s ability to be themselves and be respected in this province is problematic."
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