Toronto school board threatens Tories over criticism of ‘no opt-out’ policy on homosexual classes
TORONTO, Ontario, November 11, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Toronto District School Board is threatening action against the Ontario PC Party after the party targeted the board’s mandatory “anti-homophobia” program in a flyer during last month’s provincial election campaign.
In an October 24th letter to PC leader Tim Hudak, TDSB board chair Chris Bolton claims the flyer included “inaccurate and misleading comments” about the curriculum and wrongly alleged that the board was keeping it “secret from parents.”
The curriculum, which begins discussing homosexual families in kindergarten with books like “Gloria Goes to Gay Pride,” and aims to transform students into social activists by the end of high school, explicitly forbids parents from opting their kids out of the controversial classes and advises schools not to alert parents in advance.
The flyer, distributed in some GTA ridings the weekend before the Oct. 6th election, included direct quotes from the curriculum, such as: “Read some traditional folk tales and fairy tales with the class. Have students write/illustrate their own ‘gender-bending’ versions.”
After failing to receive a response to his letter, which was also sent to the Ontario Human Rights Commission and Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin, Bolton is threatening to make it public.
“We will have some sort of an action going forward next week,” he told the Toronto Star. “It is important the public understands we are not standing idly by. We have offered the PC Party the opportunity to respond and they have done none of it.”
On Friday the PC Party held firm and refused to apologize. “We addressed this during the campaign,” Alan Sakach, the party’s director of communications, told the Toronto Star. “Our issue is this curriculum specifically told teachers not to consult with parents and that is the crux of the matter.”
Bolton took issue with the flyer’s claim that the curriculum includes “cross-dressing for 6-year-olds,” which it does not, and its recommendation that schools set up “kissing booths” for Valentine’s Day.
The curriculum does recommend “kissing booths” as a way to “celebrate sexual diversity,” but suggests handing out chocolate “kisses” rather than actual kisses.
Liberal Education Minister Laurel Broten has also called on Hudak to apologize. “He, as leader of a party, made a decision to seek to pit Ontarians against each other, and chose to create a document that was full of lies in order to do so,” she told the Canadian Press.
The McGuinty Liberals, who won the election with one seat shy of a majority, upset pro-family critics during the election when they slammed the flyer as “homophobic.” The pro-family critics argued that the flyer made no comments that could be deemed disrespectful to homosexuals, and that McGuinty was casting parents who objected to early sex ed as “homophobic.”
After numerous attempts, LifeSiteNews did not hear back from Bolton or the Toronto District School Board by press time.