This past February, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Education Minister Liz Sandals, unveiled the new sexual-education curriculum, which will be rolled out in public schools across the province in the fall of 2015. It has been nearly two decades since the curriculum was last updated. While many topics remain the same, such as teaching children about their right to say no to unwanted touching and what to expect in their pre-teen and teen years, the curriculum is also introducing new ideas that have not been as prominent in the past, such as internet safety, pornography, sexting and sexual abuse. Some existing lessons have also been altered to be taught a little earlier, as studies show that children are entering puberty at younger ages than they did ten or twenty years ago. You can see the curriculum in its entirety by clicking the link above.
While many applaud the provincial government’s goal to educate children to prepare them for today’s world, many parents object to the amount of information that will be shared with their children. These parents feel that it is their job to teach their children about such sensitive subjects, and not the school’s. Protests have been held in various cities in Ontario, including Queen’s Park in Toronto and City Hall right here in Kingston. While some cite religion as their main reason for protest, many parents simply feel that the content of the new curriculum contains too much information that children in the early grades just can’t grasp. This week we want to know:
Do you agree with the Ontario government's new Sexual Education Curriculum?
- Yes. (53%, 198 Votes)
- No. (43%, 160 Votes)
- Not sure. (5%, 17 Votes)
Total Voters: 375
This week’s poll isn’t just for the parents in the crowd. While I am not a parent, I am an educator and I find this to be a crucial conversation that needs to continue. The way we teach our children health and sex education has a huge impact on how we develop as human beings. While we need to be sensitive with many of the topics within, we also need to have open dialogue and create a safe and welcoming atmosphere for children’s questions as they learn about not only their own, but also the sexuality of others.
We are really excited to hear what you think about this contentious but incredibly important topic. Parent, student, teacher, whatever our roll, we all play a critical part in teaching our children and helping them to understand the world in which they live. Let us know how you voted and why. And yes, this is a bit of a touchy subject but let’s open up our minds and listen to the opinions of others. Let’s start the crucial, open and honest conversation that we so desperately need to have.
Thanks to Rob Allen for the pic associated with today’s post.