No parental opt-out from any course, including sex-ed: Manitoba teachers
WINNIPEG, Manitoba, May 31, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Manitoba Teachers’ Society (MTS) decided on Saturday that parents do not have the right to pull their children out of the province’s sex-ed courses and will lobby the provincial government to prevent parents from “opt[ing] their children out of any portions of the Manitoba curriculum.”
“While the original intent of the resolution was that parents not be allowed to opt students out of human sexuality instruction, delegates voted to make the policy more comprehensive as an apparent show of support for the full curriculum,” stated a MTS news release.
Critics of the move have blasted the decision for stepping in between parents and their children.
“Parents have a God-given duty to be the primary educators of their children,” said Maria Slykerman, president of Campaign Life Coalition Manitoba, to LifeSiteNews.
“Our Manitoba teachers reprehensibly violate that sacred duty when they vote to deny parents the right to opt their children out of courses and then plan to lobby the government to ultimately seize those rights by legislative force.”
Delegates to the Society’s annual meeting on Friday were at first divided over the issue of mandatory sex-ed attendance, with some saying that removing the right to opt out would drive many families into private schools or home schooling, according to the Winnipeg Free Press.
One teacher from Frontier School Division reportedly said that such a move would bully parents into accepting controversial views on hot topics such as sexual orientation.
A principal from a Hutterite school conveyed through one of the delegates at the meeting that if schools were forced to teach sex-ed, then the Hutterite school would have no choice but to leave the public system.
The proposal was tabled that day without a vote. The next day, however, the Manitoba Teachers’ Society voted in favor of denying parents the option to take their children out of any portion of the province’s curriculum, and not only sex-ed.
Paul Olson, MTS president, said that about three-quarters of approximately 290 delegates voted in favor of the resolution. MTS represents about 15,000 educators across the province, according to its website.
Those who voted in favor of the proposal stated that with regards to sex-ed they would leave “value judgements and context [with] parents to discuss with their children,” according to the MTS release.
Pro-family advocates disagree, however, that Manitoba’s Health Education curriculum for sex-ed is value-neutral.
“The province’s concept of ‘sexual health’ is synonymous with the toxic fallout of the sexual revolution, which includes the promotion of the anti-marital and anti-family practices of contraception and abortion, as well as the fluid concepts of gender and sexual orientation, said Slykerman to LifeSiteNews.
Young children in kindergarten begin their journey to “sexual health” by learning to identify parts of the human body by name, including “penis, vagina, breasts”. By grade 2, children will know how the “union of egg and sperm” produce offspring. By grade 5, children will be able to “describe [the] structure and function of the reproductive and endocrine systems” including “fertilization [and] sexual intercourse”. They will be able to identify “physical changes associated with puberty” including “menstruation, erection, ejaculation, [and] emissions”. In grade 7, children will learn more detailed descriptions of “human reproduction systems as they relate to fertilization and foetal development”. They will also learn how to “explain the human reproduction process” and the halting of that process through contraceptive technologies. By the time the young people reach the end of grade 10, they will be able to describe the “social factors affecting ... sexual orientation” and they will be able to “identify and assess the advantages and/or disadvantages of different contraceptive methods”.
It is only in grade 10 that students learn that sexual relations can be maintained in “marriage,” which is placed side-by-side with the option of “cohabitation.”
“These immoral teachings, if forced on all of Manitoba’s children, will have serious repercussion for their physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being,” said Slykerman.
But MTS president Paul Olson argued that forcing the entire curriculum on all children, over the wishes of some parents, will “creat[e] an inclusive school for everybody”.
Greg Selinger, Premier of Manitoba
Ph: (204) 945-3714
E-Mail: [email protected]
204 Legislative Building
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8
Nancy Allan, Minister of Education
Ph: (204) 945-3720
E-Mail: [email protected]
168 Legislative Building
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8
Paul Olson, President of Manitoba Teachers’ Association
Ph: (800) 262-8803
E-mail: [email protected]
The Manitoba Teachers’ Society
191 Harcourt Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3J 3H2
Contact your Manitoba Member of the Legislative Assembly here.