cirriculum

Vandalizing an Elementary School in the Name of Protest

It’s that time of the year again, when parents take a sigh of relief while children return to school. However, this year returning to school has been different for many students and teachers. Why? Teachers school facility, MPP’s and school buildings are facing the backlash of the new sex education curriculum.

AidsIn the first two days of schools alone, two schools were vandalized supposedly by parents in protest of the newly revised sex education curriculum. The phrase “shame on you” was spray painted on the walls of Thorncliffe Park public school and Fraser Mustard Early Learning Academy. Personally, I found this behaviour to be immature. Canadians have the right to protest but this kind of action is just unacceptable especially in the case of elementary schools.

Students shouldn’t be exposed to vandalism as a means of adult protests. It’s not fair for the children to have what is supposed to be their safe space to learn vandalized. Imagine seeing these words in a space where children aged 4-10 play and learn. Imagine how upsetting it was for parents to explain to their children why that writing was on the wall. Sex-education is a sensitive issue and it is understandable why parents have their concerns. Everyone has the right to protest and follow their beliefs however; I don’t believe vandalism is the way to achieve that goal.

Furthermore, half of the students from Thorncliffe were removed from their first day of classes as a protest to the new curriculum. Thorncliffe is known for having a large Muslim population of students. However, some Muslim community members such as Farrah Marfatiah have chosen to take a unique role by creating a guide to the new guidelines by explaining the changes in accordance to Islamic beliefs. Read more about it here: http://tinyurl.com/qbqpohg. In the past, some parents have protested outside of Liberal MPP offices against the new legislation.

Wednesday, “the day of protest” was put together by the pro-life group Campaign Life Coalition. Some parents went as far to suggest that they are considering removing their child from public school and placing them in Catholic schools or home schooling their children in order to avoid having their child learn the new sex-education material. Other parents are arguing that sex-education should be taught at home. Conversely, some parents are accepting the sex-education curriculum for the most part but object to parts of it including teaching children about homosexuality.

LgbtqDespite the backlash, many students, parents and school boards support this movement and believe that it should’ve been updated much earlier. Some children have stated that they understand the material better and had many of their questions answered. Moreover, parents are arguing that they may not have the time to stay up to date with the new technological threats which have evolved over the years and are glad that schools are taking on this responsibility.

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What does the new sex-ed curriculum include? Find out here:https://thesocialparalegal.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/lets-talk-about-sex-ed-new-legislation/

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Let’s Talk About Sex-Ed! New Legislation

The Ontario government has decided to update the sex-ed cirriculum legislation. The legislation aims to provide a holistic view of sexuality rather than just a biological background. Sex-ed education will begin at a much younger age, as young as first graders.

Controversy:
Some individuals are arguing this is far too young while others believe it is important to empower children to speak out against possible cases of sexual abuse which can only be accomplished if children know that something is wrong.

Some individuals argue that sensitive topics such as sex should only be discussed at home and taught by parents. Conversely, other individuals are concerned that not everyone will get the same education if sex-ed is taught at home, especially in conservative families where such topics are taboo.

The legislation will address physical, emotional, mental, biological and social aspects of sexuality. The legislation addresses issues of sexting and cyber-bullying which have arisen since the drafting of the 1998 legislation. Topics such as anal sex, consent and masturbation will also be discussed in the course but questions will be answered at the discretion of the teachers. If educators feel the question addresses a topic that the youth should know about then they will proceed answering the question and can use their discretion when answering the question. Unlike the 1998 legislation, this legislation will also discuss same-sex relationships; the goal is to include a spectrum of families and relationships rather than just focusing on heterosexual relationships.

The curriculum will look something like this:
Grade 1-  students will be taught the appropriate names for their genitals and inappropriate touching
Grade 3 – will introduce discussions about same sex relationships
Grade 4 – children will learn about online safety, puberty and reproduction
Grade 6 – will cover masturbation, consent and healthy relationships
Grade 7 – will discuss the implications of sexting, preventing STI’s/STD’s, oral and anal sex
Grade 9 – will discuss components of mental health

Below are links to the elementary, middle and high-school revised curriculums.
Grades 1-8 http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/health1to8.pdf
Grade 9-12 http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/secondary/health9to12.pdf

How do you feel about the new sex-ed curriculum?

Do you think sex-ed should be taught at home or in school? Is grade 1 to early to talk about sexuality?

I would love to hear your thoughts!

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