Home > Releases > Queer Ontario Urges the Province Not to Abandon Important Tenets of Proposed Sex Education Curriculum

Queer Ontario Urges the Province Not to Abandon Important Tenets of Proposed Sex Education Curriculum

May 11th, 2010

Toronto: Queer Ontario feels the Elementary Health and Physical Education Curriculum proposed by the McGuinty government back in January of 2010 was a step in the right direction that would have provided Ontario children and youth with up-to-date scientific information on human development, physical health, sex, sexuality, sexual behaviour, and gender identity. So it came as a tremendous disappointment to hear that McGuinty succumbed to the pressures that were created by sex-negative religious fundamentalists, moral conservatives, and misinformed parents, ultimately rescinding the curriculum just 54 hours after he had come out in strong support of it.

Given that the first round of consultations had already taken into consideration the concerns of parent groups and religious organizations like the Institute for Catholic Education – alongside public health organizations, sex educators, school boards, academics, and LGBTQ groups including Queer Ontario’s predecessor, the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario (CLGRO), – the new curriculum was in no way under consulted and actually served to bring Ontario’s Health and Physical Education Curriculum in line with those of other, more progressive provinces like British Columbia. The new proposed curriculum is long overdue, especially in its recognition of ‘invisible differences’ like sexual orientation, gender identity, and cultural values and beliefs: a much-needed concept that would begin to acknowledge the full diversity of Ontario’s population within Ontario’s elementary school systems.

To this end Queer Ontario calls for:

The Province of Ontario to fully implement the proposed Health and Physical Education Curriculum and not to abandon important tenets regarding aspects of sex education dealing with sex, sexual orientation, sexual behaviour, gender and gender identity.

A balanced approach (as with the first rounds) should a second round of consultations be set up, albeit redundantly, by inviting all previously-consulted groups (inclusive of LGBT groups such as Queer Ontario) to the table to ensure – once again – that there is an inclusive, well-informed, and comprehensive review of the necessary changes.

The Government of Ontario to move forward with its plans to implement the new curriculum, inclusive of the sex education components, across both the public and separate Catholic school systems; doing otherwise would set a double-standard in the quality of sexual knowledge provided to each student.

Queer Ontario is a provincially based network of individuals who are members of the gender and sexually diverse populations and their allies committed to liberationist and sex positive principles that focus on questioning, challenging and seeking reform to social norms and laws that regulate queer people.  Queer Ontario engages in public education, political action, promoting access and diversity and coalition building.  


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