A new school year brings new friendships, activities, and a new sexual education curriculum.
This year, for the first time in 17 years, the Ontario government has released a new sexual education curriculum. The new curriculum has led to some uproar in particular groups, with actions taken in protest.
The new curriculum addresses new topics that did not exist or were not common during the old curriculum. Some topics in the 2015 curriculum include gender identity, social media, and building healthy relationships.
Throughout the province, there groups of parents are rallying against the curriculum. Families disagree with the curriculum for a variety of reasons; some religious, others based on personal beliefs. There are actions to go along with the protests, such as families pulling their children out of school, and making the decision to homeschool their children.
“Girls’ hearts are not designed for multiple sexual partners,” said Jack Fonesca, the spokesperson for Campaign Life Coalition, one of the organizations opposing the new curriculum.
The Campaign Life Coalition considers the Ontario sex-education curriculum too radical for children. One of the multiple reasons why the coalition is against the new curriculum is that they believe that children are learning the body parts too early in life.
A new addition to the curriculum is the discussion of gender identity, which is one of the more controversial topics. On the Campaign Life Coalition website it is stated that gender identity is not a social construct, and that the new curriculum “Will teach the disputed theory of ‘gender identity’ as if it were fact.”
Each organization has different views on this matter. Parents Alliance Ontario is a non-religious based organization that opposes the new curriculum. They say that they want to see changes in the curriculum that are less subjective and more accurate.
A common reason for the opposition of the new curriculum is the argument that all children develop and mature at different rates. At the same time, this applies to every aspect of the curriculum.
There is contrast to the rebellion of the new curriculum. Doug Kerr is apart of People for Ontario’s Sex-Ed Curriculum, an organizations in support of the changes. Kerr believes that the lack of support for the curriculum comes from a lack of understanding.
There is more to the Ontario Health and Physical Education curriculum than sex. Healthy eating, relationships, and media are just some of the other topics that are addressed.
Social media is a new phenomenon that allows constant communication. There are many aspects to social media, and this is taught in the new curriculum.
Children are taught that not every one of their peers has just a mother and father. Not all families are the same – some may have two mothers or two fathers, and every family is different.
Other provinces throughout Canada have similar sexual education curriculums. Some provinces discuss topics like body parts and gender identity earlier than Ontario does. In British Columba and Alberta, children are learning the proper names for their body parts as early as kindergarten.