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July 16, 2018

What To Expect With Ontario’s Older Sex Education Curriculum

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Jess visited Global TV’s The Morning Show to discuss what we can expect in September with Ontario’s previous sex education curriculum. Check out her notes, video clip, and a few additional segments below.

1. What are the differences between the current curriculum and the one from 1998/9?

I see three primary areas of difference between the 1998 and 2015: inclusivity, specificity & the inclusion of new technologies and related safety & relationship issues.

The updated curriculum is more inclusive of LGBTQ experiences and reflects the diversity of students, parents, and teachers.

The updated curriculum is more specific with regard to examples and teacher prompts.

And the updated curriculum addresses issues that didn’t exist in 1998 like cyberbullying, sexting, online porn and other forms of digital communication.

2. What are the implications of reverting to the 1998/9 curriculum?

A twenty-year rollback affects several areas of the curriculum and accordingly, student health and safety. This old curriculum was developed in the mid-90s prior to social media, texting, many treatments for HIV that exist today, same-sex marriage and more.

Parents who oppose the curriculum have said that they want to be the ones to teach their kids. But parents who support comprehensive sex ed. are frustrated because  relying on parents who don’t believe that we should teach about consent or respect for diversity puts their kids at risk; you can teach your kids about universal respect, but if the kids they go do school with don’t understand the concept, they’re all at risk. Like other areas of public health, it’s not enough for a few to be in-the-know. You need the herd to be educated.

3. Why do we need an updated curriculum that is more inclusive?

I think we can all agree that all students deserve to have their experiences reflected in our education system. All students have a right to access accurate, age-appropriate information that will help them to make informed decisions and cultivate healthy relationships. I think we can all agree on that even if we don’t agree on how to formulate the lessons to teach these skills.

4. In September, what will be removed/missing from the new (formerly old) curriculum?

Some of the topics that will no longer be taught include consent, references to same-sex relationships, online harassment, specific examples of safer sex, and gender identity.

To learn more, check out Jess’ segment with John Stafford and Supriya Dwivedi on AM640 here. She also discussed this with Scott Talking on AM900 CHML, listen here.