Toronto schools will not ‘condone’ exemptions from pro-homosexual classes: board chair
TORONTO, Ontario, November 29, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The chair of the Toronto District School Board has confirmed their policy of forbidding exemptions from the board’s radical pro-homosexual curriculum, insisting to LifeSiteNews that any attempts by parents “would not be condoned” in their schools.
“Nobody will chase them down in the street,” board chair Chris Bolton told LifeSiteNews in a phone interview earlier this month. If such a request were made, school officials would first “ask that they keep their children involved in the class,” he said.
“If a parent doesn’t send their child to school, we mark them as absent,” he continued, adding that if the child racked up repeated absences, there would be “questions raised.”
Earlier this month, Bolton threatened action against Tim Hudak and his Ontario Progressive Conservative Party over a flier the PCs circulated in the lead-up to the Oct. 6th election that alleged the TDSB was keeping parents in the dark about their graphic sex ed curriculum.
The board’s curriculum resource document on “homophobia and heterosexism” specifically states that parents cannot remove their children from the classes for religious reasons.
Bolton told LifeSiteNews that the PC Party was “misrepresenting” that document “as a curriculum document as opposed to a resource.” Rather, he said, “this is a guide on how to operationalize that curriculum.”
According to Bolton, there has been no real concern over the no-opt out policy, and Hudak and the Ontario PCs were merely creating controversy.
“We’re not hearing from parents that this is a huge question,” he said. “There hasn’t been any kind of outcry.”
“I think the parents understand the context behind it. Otherwise we would have a lot of pressure,” he added.
The board’s “anti-homophobia” plan, as laid out in the resource document, begins introducing homosexual family structures as early as kindergarten, and recommends a discussion sometime between JK and grade 3 aimed at convincing students of the importance of participating in Toronto’s annual Gay Pride Parade.
Though billed as “family-friendly,” the parade features men and women walking down the streets semi-nude, completely naked, or in sado-masochistic drag, as well as homosexuals engaging in simulated sex acts.
The young students read “Gloria Goes to Gay Pride”, teachers are asked to bring in photos from the parade, and the students are encouraged to make posters for the school board’s parade float.
Lauding homosexualist “heroes” such as Brent Hawkes, and recommending controversial groups such as Planned Parenthood, the sweeping program aims to transform students into social activists by the end of high school.
Bolton said the curriculum is a question of human rights and a responsibility of living in a “multicultural community.”
LifeSiteNews pointed out that the Toronto Gay Pride parade features simulated sex acts, nudity, and sado-masochistic drag, and asked if the TDSB is unapologetic about promoting the parade at the earliest grades despite such activities.
“That’s correct,” he replied.
“We’re promoting social activity that’s quite large, not only in Toronto and many other communities,” he said. “I think we’re promoting the concept of the social environment that happens around that community.”
“It’s the same I guess of getting dressed up on Halloween and those kinds of things,” he added.
Bolton acknowledged the Ministry of Education’s stated policy of allowing exemptions from controversial classes. But, he said, “we’re going to the next phase … what the new human sexuality curriculum was supposed to do.”
He noted that the new sex ed curriculum, which was pulled in April 2010 after backlash from parents but is expected to be re-released in short order, was based in part on the TDSB’s curriculum.
Questioned on another board policy of not informing parents in advance of controversial classes dealing with homosexuality, Bolton insisted it is not a question of keeping parents in the dark.
Teachers offer curriculum nights at the beginning of the year, and periodically throughout, where these issues can be raised, he explained.
But “there will not be a special letter going out,” he added. “My interpretation of that is that we don’t stand up on Monday night and send out a huge long letter and say that we’re doing that on Tuesday morning.”
Bolton accused the PC flyer of “inaccuracies” and taking elements of their program “out of context.”
In particular, he has taken issue with the flyer’s claim that the resource document recommends “cross-dressing for 6-year-olds,” which it does not, and that schools set up “kissing booths” for Valentine’s Day. The document does indeed recommend “kissing booths,” however, as a way to “celebrate sexual diversity,” but it suggests handing out chocolate “kisses” rather than actual kisses.
Hudak and his party have so far held firm and refused the TDSB’s request for an apology. As a result, the board has filed a complaint and is considering legal action.
Chris Bolton, chair of the Toronto District School Board
Chris Spence, Director of Education
Phone: (416) 397-3180
Email: [email protected]
Hon. Laurel Broten, Minister of Education
Tel: (416) 259-2249
Email: [email protected]
Lisa MacLeod, Education Critic
E-mail: Use this form.
Find contact information for all Toronto District School Board trustees here.