About 2,000 people marched on Queen’s Park June 7 demanding an end to the new sex-ed curriculum. Photo by Evan Boudreau

Ontario parents not backing down on sex ed

By 
  • June 8, 2015

TORONTO - The voice of parents must be heard, a determined group of parents upset with Ontario’s new sex-ed curriculum has vowed.

They gathered again at Queen’s Park, almost 2,000 of them, on June 7 to denounce Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government for moving forward with the curriculum.

“This is a chance to show to the government, who are not listening, that there are parental concerns from many cultures,” said Jotvinder Sobhi, a spokesperson for Canadian Families Alliance, the protest organizer. “What we are trying to say is this is a diverse issue; every community is represented.”

The afternoon assembly and march through downtown streets drew people from as far away as the nation’s capital.

Earlier in the week week Sobhi and the Canadian Families Alliance, which represents more than 200,000 people, presented a petition containing about 185,000 signatures to the government at Queen’s Park.  

Sobhi said the majority feel that the curriculum’s content aimed at elementary students — which teaches about using masturbation for sexual exploration, non-traditional family units and transgender issues — is age inappropriate.

“Kathleen Wynne should not be imposing this curriculum on our children, our schools, no matter what schools they are,” said Ann Rooney, a grandmother of six French Catholic school students. “We don’t need these instructions on how to defame the innocence of our children. Children need to be brought up in goodness and in grace, not in this abomination.”

A life-long supporter of Catholic education, Rooney criticized Catholic schools for being too quiet on this issue.

“Unfortunately they are not making their voice heard against this curriculum.”

McMaster University health sciences student Aedan O’Connor feels teaching respect and equality is a good thing, but that schools should not be teaching students how to have anal and oral sex.

“I don’t think they should be teaching us methods to have sex. I don’t think that is appropriate,” said the 18-year-old who was satisfied with the sexual education she received at her Toronto high school. “I was OK with the sex education that we had … but I didn’t feel indoctrinated. I feel like I would feel indoctrinated under this new curriculum.”

And it isn’t just the content boiling the blood of those who chanted slogans such as “Liberal losers.” Conservative MPP Monte McNaughton addressed the crowd, criticizing the lack of genuine consultation with the public and consideration of parental concerns regarding the new curriculum.

“(I) strongly believe that parents should be the first educators on serious issues like sex education and that the government needs to respect parents,” he said. “The Liberal government made a promise back in 2010 when they had to backtrack on this sex-ed curriculum for the very first time ... to consult with parents and the province of Ontario.

“Fast forward five years to when Kathleen Wynne became the premier and two days after we all elected school board trustees in the province they sent out a press release saying that there is going to be a new sex-ed curriculum in the province of Ontario and that they weren’t going to consult with parents.”

Sobhi feels most MPPs share these objections but are unwilling to raise their voice against the premier.

“We know the majority of MPPs are against it,” he said. “They are scared to speak out against the Liberal caucus.”

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