Parents in Thorncliffe Park protest new sex education curriculum
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Saturday, March 14, 2015 7:39PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, March 15, 2015 12:30AM EDT
Parents upset about the Ontario government’s new sex education curriculum staged a protest in Thorncliffe Park Saturday afternoon.
Holding placards and chanting loudly, hundreds of protesters made their way from the Thorncliffe Public Library to Thorncliffe Public School to voice their displeasure with the new curriculum, which covers topics such as properly naming body parts, consent and same-sex couples at earlier ages.
“Children at this age – they’re still not physically and emotionally ready to hear anything about grownups and sex. They are not ready for that so they shouldn’t be hearing things like that,” one protester told CP24.
Another echoed the same idea and said kids can learn about sex on their own.
“These kids are too small to learn about these things. When they grow up there’s a lot of technology – the computer, Internet, everything. They can learn if they want,” he said.
The updated curriculum was presented to the public last month and isn’t set to go into effect until September. However it has already stoked a stoked a hot response from some parents who say they don’t want their kids being taught detailed information about sex in the classrooms.
On Thursday a public information session at Agincourt College was hijacked by a group of protesters who were angry over the new curriculum.
In an email to CP24.com, Ministry of Education spokesperson Gary Wheeler said the aim of the legislation is to keep kids safe in a fast-changing world.
“The Government’s priority is the safety, health, and well-being of all our students,” Wheeler said in the email. “The current Health and Physical Education (HPE) curriculum in Ontario is from 1998 – it is 15 years out of date and was drafted long before the existence of Facebook and Snapchat.
He also said that with a wide array of explicit information available to kids, often from unreliable sources, it’s important to make sure they have an accurate and trustworthy source of information about their bodies, relationships, technology and sexual activity.
“When students have the most current, relevant, and developmentally appropriate information they will be able to make informed decisions about their health, safety and well-being,” Wheeler said.
In a news release last month, the ministry called the review “the most extensive curriculum consultation process ever undertaken by the ministry.”
It said the changes reflected the input of parents, health groups and various experts and said its own research shows most parents want schools to provide sex education to their kids.
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