News

By Patrick B. Craine

TORONTO, Ontario, April 22, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After intense criticism in recent days, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced this afternoon that he has decided to delay implementing the government’s controversial and explicit new elementary sex ed curriculum.

“It’s become pretty obvious to us that we need to give this a serious rethink,” he told reporters.  He admitted that the changes in the new curriculum had been communicated poorly, and noted that parents were clearly distressed over it.  The government must “find a policy and a curriculum that [parents are] comfortable with,” he said.

“The net we cast in terms of consulting was too narrow,” he added.

The curriculum, which is the first new version in the province since 1998, was quietly posted to the Ministry of Education’s website in January, without a summary of the changes.  It had been slated to be implemented in all Ontario schools by September.

The program as currently laid out sees sex ed begin in grade 1, with the naming of genitalia and other body parts.  By grade 3, students were to learn about “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” and by grade 7 they would discuss oral and anal intercourse and learn about the use of condoms.

McGuinty strongly defended the program this week following criticism from a coalition of pro-family groups, even to the point of insisting Wednesday that it was mandatory for the province’s publicly-funded Catholic schools.

The Catholic bishops of Ontario and at least one Catholic school board reacted strongly to that assertion. Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa called for “a firestorm of response” from Catholic parents, and the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario denied that Catholic schools would teach elements that violated Catholic teaching. Further, Jan Bentham of the Ottawa Catholic school board said the Premier “seems to be misinformed,” and that her school board would not implement the curriculum.

Jane Almeida, a spokesperson for McGuinty, told LifeSiteNews (LSN) that the Premier has decided to hold more consultations with parent groups, and that there is no timeline yet on when a new curriculum would be implemented.  “He has said that he understands that parents of all faiths have expressed concerns over this, and that maybe they didn’t have sufficient time to look at the information provided,” she told LSN.

Asked if Catholic stakeholders would be included in the renewed consultations, Almeida said, “I’m sure that they would be involved in those discussions.”

McGuinty still defended the need to revise the existing program, however.  “I think we all prefer that if they’re going to access that information, we take the opportunity to present it in a thoughtful, responsible way—and in an age-appropriate way in our classrooms,” he said, reports CTV.

The final result, said the Premier, “remains the subject of some debate and some concern, and we’re going to take the time to get that right.”

Contact Information:

Dalton McGuinty, Premier
Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Fax: (416) 325-3745
E-mail: Use this form.

Hon. Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Education
Mowat Block, 22nd Flr, 900 Bay St
Toronto, ON M7A 1L2
Tel: 1-800-387-5514 (TTY 1-800-263-2892)
Fax: 416-325-6348
Email: [email protected]

See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

Ontario Pro-Family Leaders Organize Rally against New Sex Ed Curriculum
https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/apr/10042009.html

Mandatory Curriculum for Ontario Schools Promotes Homosexuality, Masturbation
https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/mar/10030216.html

Ontario Gvmt Won’t Say Whether Catholic Schools Can Teach Beliefs on Homosexuality
https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/jan/10010807.html

Ontario Gov’t Initiative Would Force Catholic Schools to Violate Church Teaching
https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/jan/10010710.html

 Find a full listing of LifeSiteNews' coverage of the Ontario government's explicit sex-ed program here

Comments

Commenting Guidelines
LifeSiteNews welcomes thoughtful, respectful comments that add useful information or insights. Demeaning, hostile or propagandistic comments, and streams not related to the storyline, will be removed.

LSN commenting is not for frequent personal blogging, on-going debates or theological or other disputes between commenters.

Multiple comments from one person under a story are discouraged (suggested maximum of three). Capitalized sentences or comments will be removed (Internet shouting).

LifeSiteNews gives priority to pro-life, pro-family commenters and reserves the right to edit or remove comments.

Comments under LifeSiteNews stories do not necessarily represent the views of LifeSiteNews.

0 Comments

    Loading...