About 500 people gathered outside Queen’s Park Feb. 24, many with signs in hand, voicing concerns about Ontario’s revised sexual education curriculum which was unveiled slightly more than 24 hours earlier. Photo by Evan Boudreau

Schools to teach sex ed through Catholic lens

By 
  • February 24, 2015

OTTAWA - Ontario Catholic authorities believe Catholic teaching is protected in the province’s new sex education curriculum, though pro-family groups don’t share in that optimism.

The Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario (ACBO) and groups representing Catholic school board educators say they are confident they can teach the new curriculum, released Feb. 23, through a Catholic lens.

The new curriculum will, among other topics, introduce potential online dangers, as well as same-sex marriage, in Grades 1 through 3, “sexting” to students beginning in Grade 4, progressing to learning about risky sexual behaviours in later years.  

“While Catholic schools have a responsibility to follow the curriculum set out by the Ministry of Education, they have always sought to do so in a way that conveys, respects and models Catholic Christian principles to our students,” said Toronto Cardinal Thomas Collins, president of ACBO, in a Feb. 23 statement. “They will continue this tradition.

“A group of Catholic educators will produce resources that support Catholic teachers so that the new curriculum is implemented in a way that is consistent with our Catholic teachings and appropriate within the context of a Catholic classroom.”

The Institute for Catholic Education (ICE), which includes representatives of the bishops, the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association, Catholic Principals’ Council of Ontario, the Ontario Association of Parents in Catholic Education and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA), is that group.

“We’ve just begun the process of reviewing the revised curriculum,” said ICE executive director Michael Pautler.

He noted much of the material in the revised curriculum “is already included in the Fully Alive program already used in the Catholic school system.” An analysis is underway to “identify the gaps and develop appropriate materials to support teachers in implementing the expectations of the revised curriculum” in a way “consistent with Church teaching and our faith tradition.”

Parents As First Educators (PAFE), the Catholic Civil Rights League, Campaign Life Coalition and Patrick Brown and Monte McNaughton, two Progressive Conservatives vying for the party leadership, promised to fight the curriculum.  

On the morning following its unveiling, about 500 people braved the elements to gather at Queen’s Park in Toronto to protest the new curriculum, including Brown. Brown criticized Premier Kathleen Wynne for not listening to parents.

“Wynne’s approach to the issue of sex education has shown little attempt to consult parents and families,” he said. “Wynne kept her curriculum secret until yesterday. Now that her curriculum is public, now that parents can see it, the government doesn’t even care what you think.”

Kathy Horling, a parent of four children ranging from Grade 2 to 8, takes specific offence to the curriculum’s attention to gender theory as well as non-traditional sexual practices.

“I should be one telling my children about this not the government,” she said. “Why start putting ideas in their heads when they are so little? They’re kids, they don’t need this.”

McNaugthon agrees.

“The government should not be telling parents what’s age appropriate for their children,” said McNaughton in an interview Feb. 23. “The real consultation process is going to begin today.”

“After vast numbers of Ontarians said that the 2010 sex-ed curriculum was unacceptable because it promoted sexually explicit information to children at ages when it will only harm and disturb them, it is outrageous that the 2015 update is almost a carbon copy,” said PAFE president Teresa Pierre.

“When will Premier Wynne start to pay attention to the tens of thousands of Ontarians who have rejected this program because it will sexualize children at inappropriately young ages? When will this government understand that parents won’t stand for this?”

In 2010, then Premier Dalton McGuinty withdrew a controversial — and similar — curriculum after a huge parental backlash.

“There’s a difference between ‘educating’ and ‘indoctrinating,’ ” Campaign Life organizer Alissa Golob wrote on Facebook. “This sex-ed curriculum would also instil in young, vulnerable minds the acceptance of non-traditional family values, which are not only the building blocks of our society, but foundational Catholic teachings.”

James Ryan, OECTA president, doesn’t see why the new curriculum is controversial. He said the new program has important, positive revisions, and says it is an improvement for the “secular” public schools in that “it adds the whole concept of values” and puts more “stress on abstinence and talks more about relationships.”

(With files from Evan Boudreau.)

Comments (12)

  1. trebert

Part 1
What an incredible demonstration revealing the fear of human sexuality many adults still carry thanks to the outdated and outmoded teaching of our religious institutions. Fear is never from God but due to uneducated and wrongful thinking.

  Attachments
 
  1. trebert

Part 2
Part 2
Thanks to modern medical science
• Masturbation is now understood as a perfectly healthy pre-occupation to release sexual tension.
• Homosexuality/transgender are the result of an hormonal imbalance during the latter stages of...

Part 2
Part 2
Thanks to modern medical science
• Masturbation is now understood as a perfectly healthy pre-occupation to release sexual tension.
• Homosexuality/transgender are the result of an hormonal imbalance during the latter stages of pregnancy

Read More
  Attachments
 
  1. trebert

Part 3
What we deny in ourselves we will automatically pass on to others. Evidence of that can be found in the overwhelming cases of sexual abuse still carried on today due to the lack of education of healthy sexual teachings from both the...

Part 3
What we deny in ourselves we will automatically pass on to others. Evidence of that can be found in the overwhelming cases of sexual abuse still carried on today due to the lack of education of healthy sexual teachings from both the church and parents.

Read More
  Attachments
 
  1. trebert

Part 4
When will we finally reclaim human sexuality as a gift from God not a curse from devil? Only then can our kids can truly allowed to be sexually aware and safer to be the precious gift of God they are.

  Attachments
 
  1. ToCatechist101

catechist101, The changes includes Grade 6 - Gender Identity; Grade 4 - puberty, masturbation (8 year old)
Grade 3 -Same-sex relationships (7 year old);Grade 1 -Body parts (5 year old)
Won't you agree it's a bit early to expose them to that? How...

catechist101, The changes includes Grade 6 - Gender Identity; Grade 4 - puberty, masturbation (8 year old)
Grade 3 -Same-sex relationships (7 year old);Grade 1 -Body parts (5 year old)
Won't you agree it's a bit early to expose them to that? How will you react if you spot an 8 year old masturbating?

Read More
  Attachments
 
  1. trebert

To whom it may concern: (Part 1)
Growing up as a small boy perhaps five years old I can still remember my Dad giving me a bath. At this time I would ask him the names of my various body parts – all of them and receiving his ready answers. There...

To whom it may concern: (Part 1)
Growing up as a small boy perhaps five years old I can still remember my Dad giving me a bath. At this time I would ask him the names of my various body parts – all of them and receiving his ready answers. There was no shame, no ridicule and no made-up or cute name

Read More
  Attachments
 
  1. trebert

No one ever taught me that masturbation was an innocent and natural reaction as part of growing to maturity. Children who are taught that this action is ‘wrong’ or even ‘evil’ will eventually be burdened with unnecessary feelings of guilt and shame.

  Attachments
 
  1. trebert

To who it may concern (part 3)
Many children who are not educated at home about healthy sexual functions such as these may therefore find in a classroom setting that they share a common healthy experience – free from shame and guilt.

  Attachments
 
  1. James D

It will be interesting to see whether those same Brooklin parents who last year were so disgusted with the examination of conscience letter sent home by the local priest will again be contacting the Toronto Star to voice their concern with the...

It will be interesting to see whether those same Brooklin parents who last year were so disgusted with the examination of conscience letter sent home by the local priest will again be contacting the Toronto Star to voice their concern with the new Ben Levin inspired sex ed program.

Read More
  Attachments
 
  1. Jim Groves, Collingwood

What are those Catholic Educators thinking? This new program is so explicit and so wrong, there is no Catholic Spin to put on it. If these so-called "Catholic" educators truly cared about the students", they would send home notes with the email...

What are those Catholic Educators thinking? This new program is so explicit and so wrong, there is no Catholic Spin to put on it. If these so-called "Catholic" educators truly cared about the students", they would send home notes with the email addresses for the Curriculum and the petitions.

Read More
  Attachments
 
There are no comments posted here yet
Load More

Leave your comments

Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location