To sign a petition to stop Ontario's graphic sex-ed curriculum, click here.
TORONTO, May 6, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — A week-long boycott of Ontario schools by parents enraged at the Liberal government’s planned fall rollout of a radical sex-ed curriculum appears to be a resounding success.
Billed as a strike, the sex-ed protest also generated enormous media buzz on day one, with the Toronto Star, CP24, the CBC, Toronto Sun, CTV, and Global News reporting that elementary school absences in Toronto’s public schools rose 144 percent this Monday from the previous week.
That’s an estimated 35,000 students pulled from Toronto’s public schools.
Most dramatically, Thorncliffe Park Public School, in Premier Kathleen Wynne’s riding of Don Valley West was virtually empty. About 90 percent of the school’s 1,350 Grade 1 to 5 students (about 1,220) stayed home – or were among the thousand protestors chanting, “We say no!” and waving signs in front of the premier’s constituency office.
About 590 students of 950 were pulled from Valley Park Middle School, according to a report by the Toronto Star’s Louise Brown. That school, also in Wynne’s riding, was the scene of the April 11 premier’s escape through the fire emergency exit to evade angry parents waiting for her outside.
As well as 35,000 pupils absent from Toronto schools, 2,000 were absent in York Region, and 1,170 in Peel Region, Brown reported. Teston Village Public School reported a 70 percent absent rate, and Markham Gateway Public School, 40 percent.
Toronto District School Board spokesman Ryan Bird told Michelle McQuigge of the Canadian Press that 34,762 elementary school students did not come to school this Monday, more than two times the 14,191 Monday absences of the week before.
“I have heard through the organizers that at least 32 school boards across the province have seen children withdrawn from class in protest,” Jack Fonseca, spokesman for Campaign Life Coalition, told LifeSiteNews.
Fonseca, who is keeping his son home from a Waterloo Catholic school, said he was using the opportunity to express his concerns about the sex-ed curriculum to the principal and teacher. “Way to go parents. Keep up the fight!”
The spike in media attention brought on by the week-long boycott included an interview of Feras Marish on the Niagara-based NewsTalk 610 Larry Fedoruk Show.
One of the six-member delegation who met with Wynne April 29, Marish told host Fedoruk that parents want to be consulted, and that the legitimate role of a school is to “complement” what parents teach their children. “I’m not sending my kids to school to be told you are a boy and you could be a girl or to teach them that masturbation is pleasurable.”
Marish also talked about the meeting with Wynne, which ended with the premier refusing to budge. “She’s not really listening to the actual concerns, she’s trying to find what could appear to be a solution for angry parents.” (Listen to the interview here.)
And the parents’ battle against the Liberals’ reviled sex-ed curriculum has gained international attention. A Moscow newspaper ran a long feature on the fight, including a familiar photo of Premier Kathleen Wynne with her lesbian “partner” and what appear to be several transgendered individuals.
Meanwhile, initiators of the students strike, which is organized through the Facebook page Parents & Students strike: one week no school and a webpage, urge concerned parents to take part in the action, which continues until Friday, May 8.