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HAT Forum - "Ontario's Sex Ed Curriculum"

  • The 519 Room 304 519 Church Street Toronto, ON, M4Y 2C9 Canada (map)

HAT responds to Premier Ford's repeal of the Sex-Ed curriculum.

The Humanist Association of Toronto (HAT) has reiterated its support for many of the changes to Ontario’s physical and health education curriculum that were proposed in 2010 and adopted in 2015, specifically those relating to sex and sexuality. Among the features of the 2015 curriculum that HAT considers important:

The updated curriculum helped students approaching and experiencing puberty understand what they are going through regardless of their sexual orientation. In contrast, the 1998 curriculum, which has been restored for the 2018-19 year, recognizes only heterosexuality. It dates from a time when Canadian law did not recognize same-sex marriages, and even acceptance of same-sex relationships was controversial in Canadian culture. HAT welcomed the updating of the curriculum to reflect changing attitudes about diverse sexual orientations, and regrets the reversion to the 20-year-old curriculum.

The curriculum recognized, and taught students to recognize, how different family, cultural or religious backgrounds, as well as different personal feelings, may lead people to deal with adolescence in different ways. In this respect it is well suited to modern, multicultural Ontario, and does not contradict whatever values parents may pass on to their children.

The curriculum presented a holistic approach to sexuality, with consideration of emotional as well as physical issues. In fact, it included lessons on relationships before it ever taught about sexual activity.

The curriculum was proactive. By teaching children about puberty before they experience it, it helped students recognize and understand the physical and emotional changes they undergo.

As public debate around sex education in Ontario continues, HAT will continue to advocate for the inclusion of all the above features in an updated health curriculum.

Questions:

-Will the rollback of the sex-ed curriculum to the 1998 curriculum change the way kids learn about life in 2018?

-The previous Wynne government consulted with thousands of parents on the design of the newer curriculum - how will the Ford government engage parents and will the results be different from Wynne's findings?
-Ford created a "snitch-line" for parents to report " teachers who default to the recent curriculum, but are children not the snitches? What type of school environment will this create?

-What parts of the modern curriculum for (elementary school-age kids) are parents displeased with and how do they feel it will effect how and what their child will learn?