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Christian right plans to protest Ontario's sexual education guidelines


Christian right plans to protest Ontario's sexual education guidelines

Social conservative activist Charles McVety IMAGE 1 OF 1
Theo Cons trot out old arguments, whip media into frenzy
If you believe Canada’s theo-conservative lobby, the next generation of Ontario children are already on their way to hell. That’s because the province is making changes to its sex education curriculum that will teach kids about different sexual orientations, safe sex and AIDS prevention.

The changes were variously labelled as corrupt and an evil attempt to control the minds of Ontario’s youth. The sources of the accusations were the always prolific Charles McVety, Brian Rushfeldt and Ekron Malcolm – a trio of socially conservative activists.

Rushfeldt declined an interview with Xtra and McVety and Malcolm didn't return our calls.

The provincial government is moving forward with a reformed approach to health and physical education, with implementation beginning in February. Among those changes is a new strategy to educate children about human development and sexual health.

Children in Grade 1 learn about body parts and hygiene. The next year, they learn about physical change and oral health. By Grade 3, they are taught about “visible and invisible differences” between children. The curriculum points to sexual orientation and sexual identity as potential talking points.

In Grade 7, students learn how to prevent sexually transmitted infections, included HIV and AIDS. They also learn about anal sex.

Critics of the curriculum charge that parents ought to teach children about anything included in sex education curricula. But the co-author of a 2009 study that recommended this kind of curriculum says that's not practical.

“Many parents are uncomfortable talking about these issues, so we have to make sure that the information is available publicly,” said Sarah Flicker, an environmental studies professor at York University. “It’s very rare that children will turn to their parents when they have chlamydia.”

Flicker said that currently, students will learn sex education very occasionally during their time in school. The reforms offer a more integrated approach, she says, which means students can build on their knowledge from previous years.

“The important thing is that knowledge about reproductive health is a fundamental human right,” she said.

Alex McKay, the research coordinator at the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada, said the curriculum doesn’t educate students about “specific sexual behaviours” at any point.

“It points out to students that we are not all the same,” he added.

NDP education critic Rosario Marchese also defended Premier Dalton McGuinty’s new curriculum.

“I understand that parents are concerned by any topic related to sex and sexuality,” he said. “Parents provide moral direction for their kids. But if we leave it to parents, these issues will not get discussed... and children will get the information from the street.”

Marchese added that as controversial as this curriculum might be among parents, he thinks a majority will want their kids in the system. McGuinty said parents who don’t want their kids in sex ed classes can pull them out. Marchese also stopped short of saying that the class should be mandatory.

“Can you force this on all children? I support the premier, only because you need a safety valve to make the system work,” he said.

McKay said that he had received a dozen calls from media outlets in just over a day, which happens about two or three times a year when controversial issues pop up. And he said that the coverage makes the object of criticism – in this case, the new curriculum – more controversial than it should be.

“The way in which media constructs sexuality issues and different perspectives is always to polarize the discussion,” he said. “If people peel back a few layers of the media onion, most people would find [the curriculum] to be balanced, accurate and developmentally appropriate.”

Critics of the plan will protest the new curriculum at Queen’s Park on May 10.

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New ontario sex education curriculum
After watching and listening to the people who prepared the curriculum I was surprised by their lack of confidence to defend their work. We need to avoid creating confusion in the mind of our children. What are we trying to teach our kids? sexuality or diversity or multiple parents". What is the point explaining our differences to kids in this way. There are well written books in biology and genetics that provide a comprehensive information on this topic. I believe that the real reason behind this is to corrupt the mind of our children to serve the need, sexual orientation and lifestyle of the people who prepared the document. Lets stand up against this law.
Religion wants to control everybody's children
Here we go again... religion screwing up the lives of those not in their religion. Doesn't this political lobbying mean these Christian groups should lose their tax-free status?

Don't parents already have the option of opting out of sex ed? If gay children don't have the information they need, can they sue their parents? While not always the best source for information, I'm glad there's the Internet where there is some information and support.
Why Sex Education is So Important!
I grew up in a very conservative household that taught me about the mechanics of sex, but never anything else (condom use, STIs etc). A comprehensive sex education in schools would have filled in this gap in knowledge, but my conservative school just taught the girls that God wanted us to wait for marriage, and taught us how to be good wives according to the Bible. That was our sex ed.

Unfortunately, this dearth of information caused several major incidents in my younger years, which could easily have been prevented if, for example, I knew what a condom was, how to get one, and how to use it. Or if I knew what STI's were, how to prevent them, or that I could get ask my partner to get checked for them. Or what sexual assault was. I'd no idea that there was such a thing as consent.

It's amazing to me now that I could have been so ignorant, but growing up in that isolated religious community, I never even knew that the information was out there. That's why I think it's such a travesty that information is being with-held from students who start exploring their sexuality much younger than their naive parents think they do, or who, like me, were assaulted and didn't know that what had been done was a criminal offense.

Age-appropriate comprehensive sex ed is essential to an enlightened, educated society and parents who want to protect their children by keeping this information from them, are actually doing them great harm.
Why did McGuinty flip flop?
Did McGuinty abandon the new sex education guidelines because he was afraid of losing votes from the Christian Right (who don't vote for him anyway)? Or, was he really afraid of losing votes from socially conservative ethnic groups (especially in urban ridings) who have traditionally voted Liberal since they immigrated to Canada?
Keep it clean!
While I endorse sex education in our schools, and I believe kids should be taught the facts of life, we have to be age appropriate. Give them the medical facts about sexuality, including issues like sexual preference and gender identity, but we DON'T need to be telling kids about KY jelly and sexual pleasures. Let them learn about those things when they are old enough, like 18.
the bigots won
Its just been announced that the Ontario gov't will postpone the new curicullum, onw of the big concerns parents had with it was teaching about sexual orientation to young children. There's already been 2 years of consultation with experts, educators and parents now they're giving to the demands of bigots and are going to be rewriting it, I wonder how old they'll decide you have to be to learn about LGBT folks? what a shame.
Btw its the Christian right wing that is threatening us not the Muslim right wing, that may happen some day but its stil all Christianity all the time asd far as politics go.
What about Muslim opposition to gay rights?
Notice how Xtra fails to report that Muslim groups are also planning to protest against the new sex education guidelines. See:


I guess the truth would interfere with Xtra's leftist political agenda in support of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid.
You're right...
...that this shouldn't turn into a 'my religion vs your religion' thing.

This is really a public health issue, not a religious one. Children are exposed to sexual concepts earlier than previous generations were; they're everywhere. And, if you'll pardon the beginning of a sentence with a conjunction, they're having sex earlier. And, if you'll pardon the same sin again, they're contracting and spreading PREVENTABLE diseases earlier.

I think these two phrases sum up nicely a response to your concern:

"But if we leave it to parents, these issues will not get discussed ... and children will get the information from street."


"McGuinty said parents who don’t want their kids in sex ed classes can pull them out."

(You're painfully wrong about evolution, by the way. The mounds of evidence in support of the process far outweigh any of the fantasy literature in support of literal creationism -- not that you explicitly brought it up.)
Leave Christian values alone
last time I looked, Christians were people too. I also don't want the perverted concept of Sex to be taught to my Children. You have your standards, I have mine. So lets agree to teach our children the way we want.
School is just a gov't service, to fill in while we work. Unfortunately the state is getting out of hand, thinking they Must have control of our kids. Next they will be forcing Evolution down our throats when Science proves it wrong, in the fossil record with millions of examples of fossils unchanged, matching the plants and animals today.
Please leave your religion against my religion out of school. You do not rule over me nor my children. This is still a free country, I hope.
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