Ontario parents prepare for school boycott over sex-ed curriculum
Dario Balca, CTV Toronto
Published Monday, September 28, 2015 8:27PM EDT
Students across Ontario could be missing classes starting this Thursday as parents opposing the province’s new sex-ed curriculum prepare to launch a school boycott.
Hundreds of students at Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park Public School have already been out of class for nearly a month because their parents feel the curriculum is inappropriate for young students.
“Our children are standing in rain and under the sun to sacrifice for thousands of children across Ontario,” said Khalid Mahmood of the Thorncliffe Parents Association.
Now, groups across Ontario are joining the Thorncliffe community, calling on parents to pull their kids from school on Thursday as part of a province-wide protest against the new curriculum. Schools began teaching the new material in September, but it has faced intense opposition since it was first announced last spring.
Until this fall, Onatrio’s sex-ed curriculum hadn’t been updated since 1998. The new curriculum now includes lessons about online bullying, sexting, and consent. Some parents, however, argue that the material isn’t age-appropriate.
“We, as parents, acknowledge the merits of new curriculum in many of the content areas,” said Christina Liu of the Parents Alliance of Ontario. “However, the human development and sexual health content area specifically has a number of deficiencies.”
Opponents are even suggesting the province should refund parents who choose not to be in the public school system anymore.
The Ontario Ministry of Education says parents who are concerned about the new curriculum should speak to their children’s teacher before pull students out of school.
Despite the protests, the ministry says it will not make any changes or withdraw any part of the curriculum.
Parents do have the option of pulling their children out of certain classes if they speak with the school first.
The Toronto District School Board has said that the students that have been pulled out of all classes without consultation with the school will have to make up for all missed work.
With a report from Naomi Parness