The Progressive Conservative government made an official announcement this morning that Ontario parents can opt their children out of the new sex-ed curriculum. The announcement is part of an overhaul of the Ontario education system unveiled by provincial officials Firday morning. The provincial government explained that at any point in a child's elementary education, parents have the authority to opt out of every portion of the health and physical education curriculum.
Starting at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, Ontario's Ministry of Education will be offering online modules to parents who want to personally guide their children through the sensitive topics of sexual health.
The PC government has claimed that this allows parents to approach the subject "whenever their child is ready".
Ontario's Minister of Education, Lisa Thompson, told reporters at a news conference this morning, "Mom and dad are the experts on their children".
She had criticized the "controversial" sex-ed curriculum of the province's former Liberal government, saying that the previous educational program had been implemented "without adequately consulting parents". She also claimed that "public trust has deteriorated".
The current provincial government has chosen to postpone covering some of the hotly-debated topics in the sex-ed curriculum until students reach the intermediate school age of Grades 7 and 8. Some of these subjects include sexting, contraception, intercourse, and sexually transmitted infections.
Gender identity and gender expression, however, will be taught only in the second half of Grade 8. Online safety, bullying, and abstinence will too be covered during the latter portion of the academic term of Grade 8.
In Grade 2, students are instructed on body image, bullying, and online safety. By Grades 4 to 6, content covering puberty, sexual reproduction, and sexual orientation will be introduced into health classes, in addition to "new concepts" such as consent and mental health.
Thompson stated that all of the information that was previously included in the old health and physical education curriculum will be included in the new syllabus.
Ontario's sex-ed curriculum has been a polarizing debate among parents. Upon hearing of this morning's announcement by Minister Thompson, parents are strongly expressing their opinions of the news:
Today’s announcement shows what happens when you have a Minister @LisaThompsonMPP and a Deputy @samoosterhoff who have no idea about the education system in Ontario. #oecta #etfo #osstf #aefo #ONPoli #OntEd #notbeinghonest— Andrew Donihee (@doniheea) March 15, 2019
Common sense prevails Ontario is replacing the Wynne-Levin Explicit SexEd Curriculum today Parents rejoice Good on you @fordnation— HaveWeAllGoneMad (@HaveWeAllGoneM1) March 15, 2019
PCs unveil Ontario's new sex-ed curriculum, raise high school class sizes https://t.co/EUcIMdyLNq
After making a big stink about “parental rights” and “an age-inappropriate curriculum,” @LisaThompsonMPP (aka #LazyLisa) has stated that the new Ontario Conservatives’ sex-ed curriculum will be exactly the same as the Liberals’ except gender identity will be taught later.— Matthew (@matthewcouto) March 15, 2019
Lol someone explain to me what age appropriate is?! Get outta here with the ambiguity pls— Sahana J (@sahanaj) March 15, 2019
Ontario government announces high-school class sizes will increase; sex-ed curriculum will include 'age-appropriate’ changes /via @globeandmail https://t.co/OirPtXfJVx
This shot has no business bein in schools. Our world has gone sideways. Child grooming at its finest. My kids will be pulled from any sex classes— TypicallyPissed (@PissedTypically) March 15, 2019
Ontario announces revamped sex-ed curriculum, increase in class sizes for high school https://t.co/rpFtfM7rvi