Thousands protest Ontario sex-ed curriculum

Education Minister Liz Sandals says the issue has become a ‘Conservative, political issue’

Liz Sandals (CP Photo)

Liz Sandals (CP Photo)

TORONTO — Opposition to Ontario’s new sex-education curriculum has morphed into a “Conservative, political issue,” Education Minister Liz Sandals said Tuesday as thousands of people protested on the lawn of the provincial legislature.

The protesters were holding signs calling the revised curriculum irresponsible and complaining parents were not properly consulted on the changes.

Progressive Conservative MPPs Monte McNaughton and Jack MacLaren spoke at the protest, but leadership candidate Patrick Brown did not, despite being listed as a “tentative” speaker.

Related: Liz Sandals in the hot seat: A Q&A with the Education Minister 

Sandals said at first the opposition to the curriculum came from parents who “might have been misinformed about the details of the curriculum, but who were genuinely concerned.” Now the messaging has turned into Conservative criticism of the Liberal curriculum, she said.

There were many more protesters outside on Tuesday than a previous rally this winter, and the parents’ concerns ranged from material that was being taught too early to saying children should not be taught about same-sex relationships.

After the first protest, Premier Kathleen Wynne, who is openly gay, said some of the opposition was motivated by homophobia.

Protesters called on Wynne to face them, but the premier was attending a climate change meeting in Quebec.

Asked if she would address the protesters, Sandals said, “If I were to walk into a crowd of 3,000 people the OPP security people would flip out.”

Related: Why we need to get in bed with modern sex ed (Emma Teitel) 

It’s the government’s second attempt to revise the sex-ed curriculum, which was last updated in 1998, before smartphones were ubiquitous or sexting had been invented.

Under the changes, Grade 3 students will learn about same-sex relationships, kids in Grades 4 and up will learn more about the dangers of online bullying, while the dangers of sexting will come in Grade 7.

Lessons about puberty will move from Grade 5 to Grade 4, while masturbation and “gender expression” are mentioned in the Grade 6 curriculum.

Related: Here’s the craziest fact about Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum 

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Thousands protest Ontario sex-ed curriculum

  1. Keep the church out of education….2000 years of sky-fairy myths is enough.

    • ~home schooling is always an option to those who would keep their off-spring anti-social.
      :as to villagers with pitchforks & torches; water-cannon have proven effective :)
      , …oohhh did the poor little bigots bring a picket sign to a gun fight?

      • Sorry, I don’t understand your post.

        My family has home-schooling….and it is not religious.

        The Ontario curriculum has to be followed.

        • Right, sorry, it is i who misunderstood you.
          I thought we were just blurting out secular non-sequitur irrationalities, (in prose, on the general topic of those who are unhappy with how democracy werks**).

          Firstly, I did not recognise the provincial polarity in which priggish/prudishness (note the gender equality), is strictly a purview of the Sky-Fairy-ists. I had fantasies of there being atheist priggs & prudes.

          Secondly, the term 2000 years raises some concerns. It would seem to address only among the recent Sky-Fairy-supremacist annoyances. If I take your meaning correctly, these particular Sky-Fairy-ists claim to have been annoying the rest of us for some 6000 years. Hence, they would correctly have a name for those who specifically oppose the these sky-fairies that you referred too.
          ~But if you were speaking as a proper secularist, would not the time frame which one is declaring that there has been enough of, more resemble 6 billion years? (..or when ever such delusions were potentially possible in humans.)
          (I further apologise if I am being insensitive to your particular coven of anti-sky-fairy-ists, …as I would have no way of knowing if that particular branch of home-skoolin’ acknowledges negative integers in the timeline accepted in the Sky-Fairy-ist Calendar.)

          TRUTH : i wasn’t actually addressing you specifically. I clicked the wrong REPLY button.
          **It has been said, “If one does not vote, one may not bitch.”
          This I contest categorically. Voting implies acceptance of out-come. Hence only those who do not vote, have not authourised a mandate, therefore may bitch.
          -Bring on the water cannons! We must defend our democracy!

          • It must be something you’re smoking……….

          • insular twat

          • Ahh a sexist troll….that explains it.

            YOU should take the sex ed course methinks.

          • It is probably too much to ask that the Dictionary be required reading in any educational curriculum, but may I recommend it to you as outhouse reading. **spoiler alert** ~the plot DOES get a little thin towards the S’s.
            I personally like COED 11 (Concise Oxford English Dictionary 11th edition) ..but if you are not that computer literate, one can always; highlight, right-click ..google search any werd that you find troublesome or are not sure that you take the correct meaning of.
            Insular- ignorant of or uninterested in cultures, ideas, or peoples outside one’s own experience.
            Twat: (granted 2nd meaning) ..stupid or obnoxious person.
            ~have no fear weak minded person, I strictly use ‘twat’ for you in the masculine.

            but good luck to you in your future education.
            ~no one told you, so I will, Jingoism & repetition are not the key.
            They only suggest a two dimensional character & frankly you are a bore.
            (I hope that English is not the only language that you are attempting fluency in as you reading/comprehension skills are substandard.)

          • I have no idea what you’re talking about….and I doubt you do either.

        • Ahh…yes. The “school of Emily”…..

          Guaranteed to turn out multiple copies of bitter, angry, and hopelessly gullible clones.

          I don’t know if the Macleans comment site can handle it.

    • Keep out of education pedophiles like Ben Levin former K Wynne deputy minister of education charge with child porn .

      • He was removed when discovered…..and is but one man.

        It doesn’t change biology.

        • Emily, the point is not one of biology. The point is that a man who bragged about having sex with his own daughters, made child porn, distributed child porn…and was generally a guy who thought sex with kids was just A-okay…..

          Is the guy who wrote the sex-Ed curriculum WITH Kathleen Wynne…and he wants to teach it to our kids.

          If you make every kind of sex OK…then nothing is wrong. That is what they want to teach our children.

          • Premiers and deputy ministers write curriculum. Who knew!

            I suppose if you’d prefer a conservative sex-ed program to one based on empirical evidence of effectiveness, you could always send your kids to school in one of the US red states. Sure, they have the highest rates of teen pregnancy and STDs, but it feels right.

    • Emily,

      I would bet a lot of these parents are not religious at all. I just don’t think they want their 11 year olds learning about rim-jobs, or fisting just yet.

    • ~the ‘ad hominem attack’ is generally considered bad form.

      • Another Britishism?

        Well in the UK you’d be called a chav

        All these posts…in gibberish….and you still haven’t managed to deal with the topic

        • You are just embarrassing yourself beyond redemption now. You have no honour, (..if there is dignity in your presence it is surely on life support).
          You claim to not understand well spoken english …so how would you know if the point had been addressed or not?
          ..are you an american? … most victims of the canadian education system can follow a logic train, ..understand words separated from the cliches they are frequently found in, .. why, .. have heard of things like ideas that exist outside their village, ..
          ~if you are the shining example … it really won,t matter what sex ed is taught, (tab A in slot B) … Your ignoramus act is a little tired .. punch up the irrational aggression ..you could be POTUS one day ;) Dred out!

          ~feel free to have the last werd :)

  2. This controversy demonstrates unequivocally. Equal rights or an inclusive attitude, was never considered sufficient, to the radical mindset, hellbent on maximization of control. A majority government, suggests rights and equality are minority issues today. To claim a phobia or fear motivates people with other beliefs or moral values, says a lot more about this premier, than all the tax funded propaganda she can control. For an education minister to stoop to emotional blackmail, as a defense and entitlement, is condescending and insulting to the people she swore to serve. Requiring nothing less than an apology and resignation. For acts unfitting the office she holds.

    Liberal was only their first, of many lies.

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