Friday, April 23, 2010

Controversial sex ed curriculum halted in Ontario school system

Due to threats of protest by theo-conservatives, the new sex education curriculum that had been planned for Ontario grade schools will not be introduced when the 2010-11 school year begins. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said "it's become pretty obvious to us that we should give this a serious rethink." Meanwhile the right-wingers are quite pleased with themselves. "It is unconscionable to teach eight-year-old children same-sex marriage, sexual orientation and gender identity," said Charles McVety, head of the Canada Christian College.

"The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario and the AIDS Committee of Toronto both endorsed the 2010 curriculum update." reports

CBC reports:
(Ontario, Canada) The decision by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty to back away from a controversial new sex education curriculum for the province's schools has been greeted with relief by some interest groups and concern by others.

"We by no means are gloating," said Rev. Ekron Malcolm, director of the Institute for Canadian Values, "but we give God the glory. It's a victory for the Canadian children."

Religious groups objected to the revised curriculum and raised a voluble campaign against it earlier this week.

They promised a huge demonstration on the front lawn of Queen's Park to protest the sex education changes.

Under the changes that were quietly released in January, Grade 1 children were to be taught to identify genitalia using the correct words, such as penis, vagina and testicle.

In Grade 5, children were to be taught to identify parts of the reproductive system and describe how the body changes during puberty.

In Grade 7, the plan was to teach kids how to prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

Not all parents disapproved.

Rosalinde Rundle said she wants her child to be comfortable with sexuality.

"They'll learn [sex education] in school, and then every kid will learn the same thing, and then they won't make such a big deal of it probably, because it's not so taboo," she said. READ MORE
( McGuinty reversal ignores the realities of today’s families:
Today, one of the province's biggest groups for queer parents — the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer (LGBTQ) Parenting Network — added its voice to the growing list of groups who support the 2010 Ontario sexual health curriculum.

On April 22, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty caved to two days of pressure from Charles McVety and other members of the Christian right who opposed the new curriculum, which would have rolled out in September. It spelled out more thoroughly teachers' obligations to teach sexual health (in upper grades) and diversity (in lower grades).

"The families that felt included in the new curriculum are not the families being listened to," says Rachel Epstein, the group's coordinator. READ MORE

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