Last week saw thousands of students across the Canadian province of Ontario stage a “sex ed walkout” over the government’s decision to use its 1998 curriculum. That older curriculum doesn’t include information about LGBTQ issues, gender or consent, nor modern issues involving the internet and cyberbullying.
In 2015, Ontario passed a new curriculum for elementary students. That 2015 curriculum has been widely praised for its inclusiveness and the way it deals with issues of gender identity and consent. It was praised by parents, too. One mother told The Star, “[My daughter] had the benefit for grades 6, 7 and 8 of the 2015 curriculum, in the most formative years, and I saw the incredible positive impact of that curriculum on my daughter. There were great conversations about consent that I honestly wish I could’ve had myself, even in university.”
Unfortunately, conservatives think the 2015 curriculum is too advanced for younger kids, as it dares to mention homosexuality. (And, historically, conservatives haven’t exactly been fans of sex ed of any sort.) But when Doug Ford proposed the changes, as many as 38,000 students across Ontario staged a sex ed walkout on Sept. 21.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has been called Canada’s Trump, as he’s an obnoxious lout known for his racism and misogyny. You most likely remember his brother, Rob Ford, the late Toronto Mayor and city councillor known more for smoking crack on camera than his political prowess.
Doug Ford, however, doesn’t have his brother’s trouble with substance abuse. Worse, he’s got a problem with vindictive acts against Toronto City Council, due to a 2016 ruling that Ford improperly used his position on the council to funnel business to his company. In retaliation, as Premier he’s cut Toronto’s City Council in half despite a judge’s decision blocking the move.
Would you have participated in a sex ed walkout like this when you were a teen?
Featured image by Nathan Dennette via the Canadian Press.