31 July 2018 Posted By : Administrator

Ottawa School Board Questions New Sex New Curriculum

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board has written a letter requesting the Ontario government to clarify several issues concerning the intended change of sex ed curriculum, come this fall.

In the letter, addressed to the education minister, Lisa Thompson, the OCDSB expressed that there were a lot of confusing issues outstanding as regards new direction of the province’s Health and Physical Education curriculum. They expressed concerns on the fact that they have given the new government ample time to explain the course of the new curriculum and as of date, no explanations are forth coming.

The letter which is obviously in support of the 2005 curriculum states, “Our trustees and staff have reinforced that the OCDSB remains very strongly committed to equity and providing classrooms that are a welcoming environment for all students, including LGBTQ+ students. Our priorities have not changed in terms of ensuring the voices and perspectives of ALL students and parents are heard and respected.”Making their stand known, they further say “We believe that the 2015 curriculum provides important learning opportunities for students about healthy relationships, consent, online safety, and mental health – issues that are quite different in today’s society than in 1998.”

The letter emphasized that the teachers needed time to plan the new curriculum, they urged the government to clarify the requirements of the new curriculum before September to give teachers time to prepare appropriate learning materials that would most benefit them.  They stated that the parents also need to be carried along so they could make decisions about how to provide supportive home learning for their children. In their words, “Our students deserve a curriculum that meets current learning needs and is supported by appropriate and responsive learning materials in support of student health and wellness. ... Our parents need to understand how this will be managed at school so that they can make decisions about how they can best support their child’s learning on these topics at home.”

It could be recalled that recently, the political conservative leader was asked questions about the contents of the new curriculum, and he responded that his government plans to embark on a massive consultation with the involved stakeholders to determine the best curriculum to adopt this fall. The letter urged the government to proceed on this promised consultation as time was already short. “Your government has indicated that further consultation will be undertaken in this area. We urge you to initiate that consultation immediately so that Ontarians can be heard and multiple curriculum changes can be avoided.”

This plan to revert to the old curriculum has brought up protests from various other quarters. According to reports on CBC news, other stakeholders have also expressed their disapproval on the issue. Interim Liberal Leader John Fraser was reported to have said, "It's irresponsible to cancel that curriculum, it's there to protect our children." Jason Kunin, an English teacher in Toronto, said regardless of what the Tory government does with sex-ed, teachers will address modern issues in class.

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