New Education Minister a longtime supporter of gay-straight alliances
TORONTO, February 20, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – While pro-family leaders are applauding the demotion of education minister Laurel Broten to the obscure position of intergovernmental affairs, they are frowning upon who is filling Broten’s shoes. Guelph MPP Liz Sandals was appointed by Premier Kathleen Wynne last week as the new education minister.
The appointment comes as “bad news” for the group Parents as First Educators (PAFE).
“Ms. Sandals is a longtime supporter of the GSA movement (Gay-Straight Alliance) and former Parliamentary Assistant to Ms. Wynne during her tenure as Education Minister,” said PAFE president Teresa Pierre. “Ms. Wynne will find ample support for her Equity and Inclusive Education Policy in Ms. Sandals.”
In 2008, then-Education Minister Kathleen Wynne appointed Sandals to head a special team to look at ‘homophobia’ and ‘sexual harassment’ in Ontario schools.
Sandals, leading the Safe Schools Action Team — which was originally formed in 2004 to rewrite the province's Safe Schools Act — told the homosexual news service Xtra at that time that her mandate was not to seek evidence demonstrating if ‘homophobia’ existed in schools, but to “identify…people who have solutions”.
Later that year, the Ontario Safe Schools Report was released which called for “sexual orientation” education to be more comprehensive and to be pushed on children at a younger age.
“The Ministry of Education must ensure that the topics of gender-based violence, homophobia, sexual harassment, and inappropriate sexual behaviour are introduced in an age-appropriate way, beginning in Grade 6, and are developed and studied in greater depth in Grades 7, 8 and 9,” the report stated.
Under Sandals’ direction, the report called for the education ministry to “revise the health and physical education curriculum so that: by Grade 6 all students will learn about gender stereotypes and homophobia; by Grade 7 all students will learn about sexually transmitted infections and preventive measures, and about various forms of contraception including condoms; by Grade 8 all students will explicitly learn about sexual identity, dating violence and contraceptives; and by Grade 9 all students will learn specifically about gender-based violence, homophobia, sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual behaviour in more depth.”
Sandals said at the time that if passed, the proposed curriculum would apply to all publicly funded school boards, including Catholic ones.
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“In the case of the school board saying we don't want to teach that, we're saying this is what you have to teach,” she told Xtra in 2008.
Sandals, it seems, will have no trouble walking in Broten’s footsteps.
Approximately 10,000 Ontarians signed a petition last year calling on the government to remove Broten from her post after she attacked Christian religious beliefs in October.
Broten claimed at the time that Catholic schools could no longer teach that abortion is wrong, calling Catholic teaching on abortion “misogyny” and suggesting that such teaching violated the newly minted anti-bullying Bill-13.
Now with Sandals by her side, Wynne appears to be collecting the team she needs to bring back the controversial sex-ed program, which was shelved by former premier Dalton McGuinty in 2010 after strong backlash from parents.
“We are going to evolve the physical health and sex education curriculum,” Wynne said on January 27th, according to Xtra. “We have developed curriculum in this province for decades, and we have done it in a way that has integrity”.
Political commentator Christina Blizzard pointed out, however, that it would be political suicide for the new Premier to resurrect the sex-ed curriculum.
Blizzard said that if Wynne “launches into a review of the sex-ed curriculum now, she’ll be viewed as having an agenda to promote the gay lifestyle in the classroom”.
Campaign Life Coalition has called upon the new Minister of Education to affirm that separate schools can provide instruction in Catholic moral teaching.
“Removing Laurel Broten from her post as education minister is encouraging to many Ontarians,” said Mary Ellen Douglas, Ontario President of Campaign Life Coalition. “I strongly encourage Liz Sandals, in her new role as Minister of Education, to distance herself from her predecessor’s many attacks on Catholic schools”.
Pierre said however that Wynne’s choice of Sandals for education Minister means that parents “need to be prepared” to fight for their children’s innocence.