No reasonable parent would trust a convicted pedophile with their child’s education, particularly their child’s sexual education. But if your child will be attending a provincially-funded school in Ontario this fall, you are doing just that. The sex-ed curriculum being implemented in both public and Catholic schools in September 2015 (1), was developed under the oversight and leadership of convicted pornographer and former Deputy Minister for Education, Benjamin Levin.
In 2013 Mr. Levin was arrested on charges related to child pornography. Just days ago (March 3, 2015), he pleaded guilty and was convicted of three of those charges. One of the most alarming charges he was convicted of was counseling another person to commit a sexual assault on a minor. (2)
In 2009, Benjamin Levin was in charge of curriculum assessment and development. As this new sex-ed curricululm was being written, Mr. Levin was leading, directing and overseeing the entire process of determining what your child should be taught about sex and sexuality!
Of course, the Ontario Liberal government is attempting to distance Mr. Levin from the proposed curriculum. Upon Mr. Levin’s arrest in 2013, Premier Kathleen Wynne stated that “ministers and deputy ministers do not write curriculum.” (3) Education Minister Liz Sandals stated that he had “very little” to do with the curriculum, (4) and even gave her personal guarantee: “I can guarantee you that Ben Levin was not in any way directly involved in developing the curriculum.” (5) A spokesman for Sandals, Nilani Logeswaran, stated that “Ben Levin had no involvement in the development of the content of the curriculum. Curriculum is developed by subject experts and is based on research in addition to consultations with a wide array of people, including teachers, parents, and students.” (4)
No involvement? He was the man in charge of it! Even Ms. Wynne admits that his role included “oversight” of the curriculum. “Deputy ministers don’t write curriculum. Deputy ministers have oversight,” she says, in a stunning example of double-talk. (6)
Semantics aside, parents aren’t concerned about who worded or typed the curriculum. They are concerned about who made the decisions about what the curriculum should include, about which “subject experts” should be consulted, and about who guided the process of its development. They are, in short, extremely concerned about who took charge of its oversight.
If we look closely at the Mr. Levin’s own memos during the time of this curriculum’s development, we see just how involved he was.
March 6, 2009: Benjamin Levin, then-Deputy Minister for Education, takes responsibility for curriculum in Ontario schools in the following internal memo:
Dear colleagues, I am writing to provide an update on our sector’s agenda … I will be filling the ADM (assistant deputy minster) position previously held by George Zegarac … The division formerly headed by George Zegarac will be renamed as ‘Learning and Curriculum.’ It will have responsibility for curriculum and for Special Education including Provincial Schools.(3)
April 6, 2009: In another memo, Levin takes responsibility for a new province-wide equity and inclusive education strategy:
Today, the ministry released its new equity and inclusive education strategy paper … This provincewide strategy has been a priority for our Minister of Education Kathleen Wynne and me.(3)
That strategy paper, such a priority for Mr. Levin and Ms. Wynne, states that:
the ministry’s curriculum policy supports respect for and acceptance of diversity in Ontario’s schools. Through the curriculum review process, curriculum is continually revised to maintain and increase its relevance to the changing needs and lives of students. Recent revisions include the addition of sections on anti-discrimination education. (3)
Benjamin Levin was, by his own admission, very involved in directing the revision of curriculum, ensuring that they met the policies of equity and tolerance outlined by his strategy paper. The changes to the sexual education component of the curriculum was a “priority” for Mr. Levin, and very much under his purview. It is the very curriculum to which this strategy paper refers.
The “addition of sections on anti-discrimination education” is all over the curriculum in question, including socio-political concepts such as gender identity that are, in my opinion, entirely age-inappropriate. It includes teaching and defining terms and concepts such as “two-spirited, transgender, transsexual, intersex…” (1)
(Some of these terms I didn’t learn until a first-year Women’s Studies course in university! But they are going to be required learning for elementary school students in September.)
To add insult to injury, Premier Wynne insults parents who are concerned about this curriculum in two ways: first, by labeling us as homophobic; (7) second, by insulting our intelligence;
So you know, any suggestion that there was that kind of interference [by Mr. Levin], it just demonstrates a lack of understanding of how curriculum actually is written… ministers and deputy ministers don’t write curriculum. (3)
Premier Wynne can say what she like about Ontario parents’ “lack of understanding,” but one fact remains: the man who has pleaded guilty to counseling a person to commit sexual assault is the same man who counseled, directed, and had “oversight” over the people who were writing what your child is about to learn about sexuality.
In Mr. Levin’s own words:
I was the Deputy Minister of Education… I was responsible for the operation of the Ministry of Education and everything that they do; I was brought in to implement the new education policy.(8)
Please note: I have included the following links as endnotes to verify the information I have presented above. Please be aware that the second endnote, a link to Christie Blatchford’s National Post article, contains very disturbing details of Mr. Levin’s crimes. You may not wish to read it.
If you are a resident of Ontario, and concerned about the impact this convicted child pornographer will have in guiding the sexual education of this generation of children, please express your concern to Premier Kathleen Wynne, Education Minister Liz Sandals, and your local Member of Provincial Parliament
If you are a resident of Canada, and concerned about the impact this convicted child pornographer will have in guiding the sexual education of this generation of Ontario’s children, please express your concern to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and your local Member of Parliament
If you are someone who cares about this generation of children, please make yourself informed of what they are being taught in your local schools. We need to be advocates for our vulnerable children’s innocence, and stop assuming that those in charge of our children necessarily have their best interests at heart. No one loves your child as much as you do. If you don’t advocate on their behalf, who will?
If you are a Christian, please pray for this generation of children, and for the teachers, leaders, and government officials in charge of their education.