No update on the revised sex education curriculum

Section: 
News

 

By Tammy Schneider

 

With the start of school just a month away, teachers and education professionals are still unsure as to which curriculum they will be teaching.

 

Last week, public school boards across the province wrote to the government asking for clarification on the sex education curriculum for the upcoming school year.

 

In 2015, the Wynne government introduced a very current version of the previous curriculum (written in 1998) that included teaching points on consent, bullying, internet safety, gender identity, mental health and many other topics. Topics covered were based on age and grade, becoming more complex and in-depth as the students aged.

 

One of Premier Doug Ford’s first changes since taking office was to scrap the new curriculum in favour of returning to the 1998 program. The announcement was met with much uproar and opposition, and since then it has been a confusing back-and-forth as it was announced that only parts of the curriculum would be dropped, then revised, then completely scrapped and re-written. At last notice, the province will begin consultations with parents in the fall, to help develop the new curriculum.

 

Public school boards across the province are voicing their concern, and at least 10 of them have spoken out in favour of keeping the 2015 curriculum until a new program is drawn up and approved. In a Tweet, Alana Murray, director of the education for the Bluewater District School Board, stated that students “deserve an updated curriculum and “not one that pre-dates their existence.”

 

Education Minister Lisa Thompson has said that the previous curriculum will be put in place until a fulsome consultation has taken place. The CBC reported last month on comments Thompson had made in the legislature regarding the sex ed curriculum indicating that perhaps not all aspects of the new curriculum will be eliminated.

 

"We know they need to learn about consent," she said at the legislature. "We know they need to learn about cyber safety, we know they need to learn about gender identity and appreciation. But we also know that the former Liberal government's consultation process was completely flawed."

 

With files from Barb McKay