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Reverting to Old Sex Ed. Curriculum called ‘Regressive’

July 12th, 2018 Comments off

For Immediate Release                                                                                               July 12, 2018

News Release

Reverting to Old Sex Ed. Curriculum called ‘Regressive’

Toronto: Queer Ontario calls the Progressive Conservative government’s plan to scrap the existing sex education curriculum that was updated in 2015 regressive.  By reverting to the old 1998 sex education curriculum the new provincial government would be implementing a curriculum that is three years older than the oldest student in the system.

Not only is the 1998 sex education curriculum out of date with the current realities of 2018 and what children and youth face today, it is irresponsible to teach students dated material and dangerous to fail to teach students modern relevant material that directly impacts their lives.  From issues of recognition of body parts to varying gender identities, to same-sex relationships and consent to navigating social media, all are important to today’s children and youth, particularly those who identify as LGBTQ or questioning their sexuality or gender identity.

Education Minister Lisa Thompson announced that there will be a new round of consultations with parents.  Queer Ontario reminds the government there have been numerous past consultations on this issue that included parents on each round.  Queer Ontario also questions if in the upcoming round the government intends to include other stakeholders such as educators, professionals, community groups and NGOs that are also concerned about education in the province.  Restricting consultations to parents only would be unrepresentative of the views of all Ontarians concerned about these issues.

Queer Ontario is a provincial network of gender and sexually diverse individuals — and their allies — who are committed to questioning, challenging, and reforming the laws, institutional practices, and social norms that regulate queer people. Operating under liberationist and sex-positive principles, we fight for accessibility, recognition, and pluralism, using social media and other tactics to engage in political action, public education, and coalition-building.

Queer Ontario – News Release – Sex Ed. Curriculum – July 12, 2018

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Queer Ontario Recognises the Colonial Land on which we Gather

April 30th, 2018 Comments off

We would like to begin by acknowledging that the land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee , and most recently, the territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. The territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes.

This territory is also covered by the Upper Canada Treaties.

Today, the meeting place of Toronto (from the Haudenosaunee word Tkaronto) is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work in the community, on this territory.

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Catholic School Board’s Funding Withdrawal Latest Example of LGBTQ Suppression

February 11th, 2018 Comments off

News Release                                                                                                  February 11, 2018

Queer Ontario

Catholic School Board’s Funding Withdrawal Latest Example of LGBTQ Suppression

Toronto:  Initially, both the London Catholic District School Board (LCDSB) and the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) decided to withdraw funds of $15,000 each to a production of “Prom Queen,” which depicts the Marc Hall story regarding the high school student who fought his Catholic school board to be able to take his boyfriend to the prom, at the Grand Theatre.  Both these school boards have traditionally provided funding of $30,000 combined to an annual production.  This year’s production of “Prom Queen” that looks at a historical battle between LGBTQs and a Catholic school board, was almost suppressed by LCDSB and TVDSB’s defunding.  It has since more than surpassed the $30,000 in funding due to a public fundraising campaign.  Recently TVDSB restored its funding of $15,000.

This is but the latest example of how Bill 13, Accepting Schools Act, which protects LGBTQ students, staff and teachers from discrimination within all Ontario school boards is not being adequately implemented.  When a Catholic school board attempts to suppress (and arguably censor) an historical event that would be of educational value for all students, both school board trustees and administrators need to be held to account.  Fortunately, the public has demonstrated its openness to such a production possibly influencing TVDSB’s reversal, yet at the expense of separate school board tax dollars being withdrawn from such an initiative.

Why are Ontario’s tax dollars being wasted supporting an institution that not only defies provincial human rights protections within its walls, but also endeavours to project that attitude beyond?

Queer Ontario is a provincial network of gender and sexually diverse individuals – and their allies – who are committed to questioning, challenging, and reforming the laws, institutional practices, and social norms that regulate queer people.

Queer Ontario – Grand Theatre News Release

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