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:
So we’re teaching concussions in gr.1 but not teaching anything about lgbt+ issues until gr.8? I’ve never had a con… https://t.co/AZ7zngB0iP— Janet's Void (@Janet's Void)1566395137.0
Given that the suicide rate for unsupported trans teens is 8 x higher than that of their cis counterparts, fourteen… https://t.co/tUAFJZ6DHZ— Kelly (@Kelly)1566392872.0
moving LGBT+ 'issues' to 8th grade from 6th grade makes no sense. By 8th grade i already knew i liked girls. We s… https://t.co/TWjrkGcx49— emma (@emma)1566406602.0
Our teachers will do the right thing #lgbtq #sexedsaveslives clearly our pressure also worked #sexed https://t.co/9l5D075RCj— Cheri DiNovo (@Cheri DiNovo)1566404558.0
They tweeked the Liberal's plan,& are forcing kids to learn about gender identity in gr8 instead of 6? There are ch… https://t.co/PinwwOs1hS— Leena -BLACK LIVES MATTER (@Leena -BLACK LIVES MATTER)1566404063.0
A reminder that the PC platform's primary issue with the 2015 ON #sexed curricula was that the Liberals failed to c… https://t.co/d9YPjUqVsg— Renan Levine (@Renan Levine)1566402188.0
So the #DougFord Gov't put out their revised #SexEd and Health curriculum. Its essentially the same as the 2015, ex… https://t.co/CXb8ZV4Nyw— Reverence 😈❤️ (@Reverence 😈❤️)1566396256.0
If you’re still against this new #sexed curriculum in Ontario and will be pulling your kids out of the class, just… https://t.co/DeUFIxtu71— Ken (@Ken)1566407350.0
The #sexed curriculum includes learning about "Factors affecting their understanding of themselves and personal ide… https://t.co/jkPogRhq2l— Sidrah Ahmad-Chan (@Sidrah Ahmad-Chan)1566400603.0
...is not explaining to them what sexual abuse looks like. The new #sexed curriculum is great for child predators -… https://t.co/l0eZFVBMWg— renata r (@renata r)1566398019.0
@robertbenzie @TGranicAllen @OntarioPCParty @OntarioPCParty #sexed “changes” r significant in delaying discussion o… https://t.co/tDuVNjRj7X— John Fitzpatrick (@John Fitzpatrick)1566396836.0
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.