A breakdown of Ontario’s new sex-ed curriculum by grade level, to see how it will affect children this fall.
Grade Three: Describe how visible differences (e.g., skin, hair, and eye colour, facial features, body size and shape, physical aids or different physical abilities, clothing, possessions) and invisible differences (e.g., learning abilities, skills and talents, personal or cultural values and beliefs, gender identity, sexual orientation, family background, personal preferences, allergies and sensitivities) make each person unique, and identify ways of showing respect for differences in others [PS, IS]
We all come from different families. Some students live with two parents. Some live with one parent. Some have two mothers or two fathers. Some live with grandparents or with caregivers. We may come from different cultures. We also have different talents and abilities and different things that we find difficult to do.
Isn’t it ironic that the same piece of curriculum that teaches about respect for “personal or cultural values and beliefs” also tramples upon the personal and cultural values and beliefs of many Ontarians in the very next clause, as it goes on to teach about “gender identity” and “sexual orientation.”
The “personal or cultural values and beliefs” of many Ontarians hold that eight years old is simply too young to be taught about gender identity and sexual orientation. And yet the Ministry of Education would take it upon itself to teach my child about topics that I consider age-inappropriate. What gives the government the right to disrespect my personal and cultural values and beliefs? What gives them the right to decide for me and my child – for you and your child – when and how to have this conversation?
Of course bullying is never acceptable behaviour. Children can be taught to have respect for others without being taught about every possible gender identity and sexual orientation that they may come across. Again, the main issue here is that this curriculum takes it upon itself to expose every 8-year-old schoolchild in Ontario to content that is better explained by parents at home, where they can do so in a sensitive manner, consistent with their own “personal and cultural values and beliefs,” at appropriate times, and as situations arise to bring those “teachable moments.”
This curriculum is overriding the discretion of the parent and replacing it with the discretion of Kathleen Wynne and Benjamin Levin.
If you are a resident of Ontario, and want to protect your right to teach your child in an age-appropriate, situationally-appropriate, private manner, as determined by you, the parent, please express your concern to Premier Kathleen Wynne, Education Minister Liz Sandals, and your local Member of Provincial Parliament.