What’s Best for the Kids?

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Over the past few weeks, the Province and the Elementary Teacher’s Federation of Ontario have been locked in a battle over the government’s repeal of the 2015 Curriculum. 

When the curriculum was introduced in 2015, the outcry was immediate. Parents pulled their children from classes, rallies popped up at Queen’s Park, schools were threatened with decreased enrollment.  Protesters were a diverse group of Christians, Muslims, and Sikhs from across Ontario. 

Several groups formed including Parents as First Educators, Parent’s Alliance of Ontario, and the Coalition of Concerned Parents. All with the same concerns. Age inappropriate information, and topics lacking in important facts. 

Doctors weighed in.

Nadine Nyhus, a mother,  practicing medical doctor and psychiatrist for over 20 years spoke at a Waterloo Region District School Board meeting, stating that while she was thankful that there was a curriculum, the one released was “very inadequate to inform and protect our children.” She went on to outline 5 concerns which can be read here: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s?__biz=MzAxMTA5ODA4NA==&mid=208308028&idx=1&sn=02d27cdff0287f293ba9ed8407f84c48&scene=2#rd

“very inadequate to inform and protect our children.”

Dr. Miriam Grossman

New York based child, teen and adult psychiatrist Dr. Miriam Grossman spoke to a large crowd in Mississauga after being contacted by several parents expressing concern and asking her to review the curriculum.  She confirmed that topics were not appropriate for the ages they were being introduced to.  Read more of her talk here:  https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/ontarios-dangerous-sex-ed-is-indoctrination-not-science-says-u.s.-psychiatr 

If doctors are speaking out against the curriculum, and parents have concerns, why is the ETFO pushing to have it returned?

“The government’s decision to revert to the 1998 Health and Physical Education Curriculum while initiating further consultation is irresponsible, discriminatory and jeopardizes the safety of the students that we teach,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond at the Federation’s Annual Meeting. “Teachers will not be muzzled by a government whose political agenda takes precedence over the protection and education of their students.”

The Campaign Life Coalition has slammed the ETFO as “elitist”, “tone-deaf” and “belligerent” toward parents, 51% of whom support the repeal as found in an Ipsos poll commissioned by Global News .

“Here are union elites smugly dictating to parents what their children must believe in delicate matters of sexuality and morality, things that fall entirely within the realm of fundamental rights of parents,” said Jim Hughes, CLC national president..

Kathleen Wynne claimed that parents were surveyed on the content of the 2015 curriculum but according to one parent, the survey was quite vague, giving little indication of what was to come. Parents were asked to show if they agreed with statements like “It is important to me that my child(ren) are exposed to all kinds of diversity through the school curriculum”.

Jotvinder Sodhi says that he feels guilty and if he had known then what he knows now, “I would have scrapped that paper.”

Even though Doug Ford has repealed the curriculum, teachers have said on social media that they will still teach it. Even stating that no one would know because they aren’t checked up on when teaching the classes. 

There is a case before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, where an 11 year old transgender student claims that the repeal is putting them in harm’s way because other students will not be learning about gender identity.  If this student’s rights are being violated, what about parents rights? The parents protesting the curriculum, armed with the information from the above mentioned  doctors claim that they have the right to teach their children about sex when they feel it is appropriate and according to their religious beliefs. 

Amidst the claims that parents can remove their children from certain classes comes this case: 

Hamilton father Steve Tourloukis

Hamilton area father, Steve (Eustathios) Tourloukis, went to court to ask that he be told when certain topics would be taught in class so that he could remove his children. His request was denied and Judge Robert Reid said allowing Tourloukis to “isolate” his children from aspects of the curriculum would be conflicting with “competing legislative mandate and Charter values favouring inclusivity, equality and multiculturalism.”

The Ford Government conducted a series of “town hall” discussions to give parents a chance to weigh in on the curriculum. They wrapped up in December 2018, and a report on the results will be released early this year.  Will Ford keep his word and scrap the sex ed curriculum or at least make sure that the topics are age appropriate and all the information is provided so that students can make fully informed decisions? 

 

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