Yesterday as I was speaking to somebody about the premier’s decision to revise Ontario’s sex ed curriculum, I soon realized that only one of us perceived it as an absolute travesty.
With a flippant shoulder shrug they said, “Sex ed should be taken out of schools and taught at home anyway.”
And that’s when my head exploded.
For my outside Ontario readers, to catch you up to speed—we recently elected a new premier to lead our province. We had two very qualified female candidates, a male candidate who values change, community, and the environment above all else, and a Donald Trump clone. The clone won.
Premier Ford kept his promise to revise the current health and physical education curriculum. Effective this fall, we will be reverting back to 1998 curricula.
The ramifications of this decision have been discussed heatedly across the internet. Google the topic and you’ll discover that students in Ontario will no longer learn about same-sex marriage, transgender or queer youth, or gender identity. They won’t be taught about the social and sexual dangers of our digital society or about consent either.
Instead of building on the curriculum, important topics like these and more, have been erased.
Back to the, “sex ed should be taken out of the schools and taught at home anyway,” comment.
What about kids who have no home or stable home life?
What about children whose guardians offer only the basic necessities of life, but no more?
What about the kids raised by uneducated parents or who take zero interest in their children’s education or who are against teaching children about their bodies?
What about kids whose parents mean well, but are too busy or too embarrassed to deliver the necessary information properly?
Who is going to teach these children about sex, and personal space, and how to protect themselves from disease and mistreatment?
So only the lucky kids will learn that it’s okay to be who they are, and that gay or trans or whatever identify that fits, is perfectly okay?
Only some children will be prepared for what they might encounter on a date? They’ll know what it means to give or ask for consent. They’ll understand how their bodies work. They’ll be safer and more confident than their peers.
This seems pretty damn backwards for 2018.
We need to teach our youth what they need to know to be smart, safe, and successful adults. Reading, writing, STEM, manners and basic social skills, life skills including cooking/household engineering and financial knowledge, and of course, sexual and social ed.
Let’s educate them about what they need to know to be decent humans—humans who have private parts and the challenges and dangers that go along with that.
Mr. Ford, how can you sleep at night knowing you are robbing children of tools that will help them navigate this wild new world of social media and cyber bullying (which doesn’t exist in your antiquated curriculum). You have four daughters, sir. You should know better. You should want to DO better.