Ontario teachers snub Ford’s sex-ed repeal: We’ll teach what we want
TORONTO, July 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — As Ontario education minister Lisa Thompson wobbled on her promise to repeal the Liberal sex-ed curriculum, teachers took to social media in droves claiming they’ll disregard the repeal anyway.
Notably, that included James Ryan, former president of Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA), under whose watch the union infamously first marched in Toronto’s Pride Parade in 2014 in public defiance of Cardinal Thomas Collins.
“The thing many people forget is that a curriculum is only a guideline,” Ryan wrote on Facebook.
“As curriculums do not prohibit what is to be taught, I suspect most teachers will simply ignore this Doug Ford move and continue to delivery (sic) the curriculum that students need to be ready for 2018 and beyond.”
“I thank God that these professionals are in charge of our classrooms and not Ford’s liars,” he wrote, adding Ford’s “minions alarmed parents everywhere about things that were NEVER in the curriculum.”
Thompson announced last week that Doug Ford’s Conservatives would revert to the curriculum in place before Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals rolled out their controversial sex-ed program in 2015.
The Wynne sex ed introduced homosexuality and gender identity in Grade 3, masturbation in Grade 6, and oral and anal sex in Grade 7, advised 12-year-olds to carry condoms, Grade 8 children to come up with a sexual plan, and taught there are six genders.
‘Left-wing activists’ pushing ideology
Opposition to repeal has now ramped up, including alleged backlash from teachers, “many” of whom “insist they have the discretion to talk about issues like gender identity and sexual orientation when they come up,” as reported in Macleans.
Teachers “will find ways to make the curriculum relevant, regardless of what the ministry of education’s document reads,” it reported, noting the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) concurs that educators “have flexibility when it comes to implementing the provincial curriculum.”
That’s echoed in teacher tweets tracked by Catholic Intelligence blog, including London Catholic school teacher Kimberly Rastin:
Yes, as teachers we must meet the curriculum expectations. But nothing says we cannot EXCEED them. So, regardless of what gov documents say I will #teach my students #diversity #equality #tolerance #consent #respect #safety #exceedexpectations— Kimberly Rastin (@MsRastin) July 12, 2018
Ditto a tweet by Derik Chica:
I am a teacher. I am not a curriculum robot.— Derik Chica (@DerikChica) July 12, 2018
I will teach consent, Truth and Reconciliation, and gender/sexual diversities. Equity policy will let me do this.
I will not bring my classroom back decades because @LisaThompsonMPP decided to turn “curriculum” back decades #ONpoli
Johnny Smith, aka Reasonable Teacher, was clear where he stood:
Ontario's teachers DEMAND an immediate return of the @Kathleen_Wynne 2015 #SexEd Curriculum. We do not want @CharlesMcVety or @PAFE4 running Ontario's public schools! https://t.co/e2mfx8D580 #onpoli #onted #osstf #etfo #oecta #aefo #tdsb #tcdsb #ocdsb #pcpo #olp #ondp #gpo— Johnny Smith (@ReasonableTcher) July 14, 2018
But Campaign Life Coalition senior political strategist Jack Fonseca thinks “the threat is overblown” by “a very small number of hardcore left-wing activists” and “teachers’ union thugs” who are noisily pushing their ideological agenda.
“I think the overwhelming majority of teachers will do what they’re told and respect parental rights in the process,” he told LifeSiteNews.
“The vast majority of teachers were probably uncomfortable teaching this stuff anyway, and even if it’s only quietly and silently, they will be relieved that they no longer have to,” Fonseca said.
Gender theory has got to go
Meanwhile, Ford’s rookie education minister has muddied the waters, asserting during Question Period on Monday the Conservative repeal of the controversial Liberal sex ed may not include consent and gender theory.
That drew a scathing rebuke from Tanya Granic Allen, president of Parents As First Educators, who questioned on her blog: “What part of ‘repeal’ does Minister (Lisa) Thompson not understand?”
“This controversial, unscientific ‘gender theory’ is one of the very worst aspects of the Wynne sex ed,” Granic Allen wrote.
“When Ontario parents say they want a ‘repeal’ of the Wynne sex-ed curriculum, they most certainly have ‘gender theory’ top of mind.”
Thompson walked back her statement somewhat in a 200-word statement released late Monday afternoon.
The Ford government is keeping its promise “to replace the entirety of Ontario’s current sex-ed curriculum with an age-appropriate one that is based on real consultation with parents,” she reiterated.
“As of today, we have made no decisions on what the new curriculum will look like.”
During consultation with parents, “we are reverting to the full health and physical education curriculum that was last taught in 2014,” Thompson said.
“This curriculum leaves ample space to discuss current social issues,” she added.
But this statement unfortunately leaves an “open door” for “enemies of parents” to push their agenda in schools, Fonseca said.
He “strongly disagrees” with Thompson’s initial “very bad statement that gender identity can still be taught,” he told LifeSiteNews.
“It is anti-scientific, it is pure ideology, it is pure baseless philosophy” and teaching it in schools “will cause tremendous harm for many children.”
Meanwhile, OECTA issued a statement July 16 declaring its “great disappointment” with the sex-ed repeal.
“By going backward, we are doing students a disservice, leaving them without the tools and knowledge to manage their relationships and personal well-being,” OECTA president Liz Stuart said.
Fonseca countered that it’s not OECTA’s place to speak on moral issues or curricula.
“I’ve had enough of these professional dissenters who hate the church so much they publicly agitate against her teachings,” he told LifeSiteNews.
“Something must be done by our bishops to reform or diminish OECTA, such that they are a body that negotiates wages and salary increases and nothing more, and stop being a mouthpiece that purports to speak on behalf of the Catholic Church.”