The province's new sex education curriculum is facing backlash over its policies. Ontario's new sex-ed curriculum, released on Wednesday, is being scrutinized for featuring many of the same elements as the Liberal document that proceeded it and for bumping LGBT issues to older grades. The government is now coming to its defence.
One of the most controversial aspects of the new curriculum is its shift on mandatory teachings regarding LGBT subjects, particularly gender identity, which was moved from Grade 6 to Grade 8. The change is being criticized for underestimating the intelligence and perceptions of children.
However, it's worth noting that in the new document, sexual orientation will be taught in Grade 5, which is earlier than the curriculum designed by the Liberals in 2015.
The issue is already causing a firestorm on Twitter:
Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce was quick to come to the defence of the lesson plan. "We believe strongly that this new curriculum reflects the priorities for parents ... we do not apologize for listening and seeking the wisdom of parents, educators, and students," Lecce said, according to Newstalk 1010.
According to CBC, the government’s new curriculum will take the place of a controversial, 20-year-old teaching plan which was implemented after Ford took power last year. The new plan allows parents to opt their children out of certain parts of the curriculum, such as human development and sexual health.
School boards across Ontario will be required to come up with a "procedure allowing parents to exempt their child from instruction of the human development and sexual health education component" the Ministry of Education stated to CBC.
"Currently, not all school boards across Ontario have policies in place to address the exemption of children from sexual health education," the statement added. The policies are set to come into effect by November.