TORONTO, August 15, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – An 11-year-old “transgender” child will be lead applicant in a legal challenge to the Ontario government’s repeal of the Liberal sex-ed curriculum, as liberal backlash to the Tory policy intensifies.
Toronto lawyers Marcus Mann and Mika Imai announced last Thursday they were launching a human rights complaint against the Conservative sex-ed repeal on behalf of a half-dozen Ontario families.
The application, which they expect to file within a week, alleges the sex-ed repeal violates the Ontario Human Rights Code section prohibiting discrimination in providing services.
Imai told the Toronto Star they are requesting an expedited hearing, and may seek an injunction to stop the repeal come September.
As well as the 11-year-old from rural Ontario, applicants include Toronto, Sudbury, and Guelph families who claim the Liberal sex-ed curriculum benefited their children, all of whom are under age 13, the Star reported.
Jake Somerville, a parent from Guelph, told the Toronto Star his son began transitioning to a “girl” in kindergarten in 2015, when Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals rolled out the controversial sex-ed curriculum — which teaches there are six genders rather than the two biological sexes.
“The school, the teachers, played a really big role,” in his son’s transition to a girl, he said.
Sudbury parent Sylvie Liard, who has a child she says is “gender non-conforming,” echoed this, telling the Star: “Going back to the older curriculum, where nothing was addressed, is unfathomable.”
Andrea Horwath’s NDP is backing the legal challenge, and the Elementary Teachers' Federation announced Monday it will intervene on behalf of the parents.
ETFO president Sam Hammond also said his union would “vigorously defend” any teacher who defies the government and uses the Liberal sex-ed curriculum come September, the CBC reported.
“Teachers will not be muzzled by a government whose political agenda takes precedence over the protection and education of their students,” Hammond said in an opening address to ETFO’s annual convention in Toronto.
More than 24 Ontario school boards have blasted the Conservative sex-ed repeal, Hammond said, and he urged them “to join us in this action by supporting teachers who demonstrate care and concern for their students.”
But Tanya Granic Allen, president of Parents As First Educators (PAFE), counters many teachers are “relieved” at the repeal.
“Most teachers don’t want anything to do with the Wynne-Horwath sex-ed,” says Granic Allen, whose organization represents some 80,000 Ontarians, and who collected more than 10,000 signatures supporting repeal in a recent petition campaign.
“They don’t want to sexualize their students, they know this content is inappropriate.”
As well as teaching there are six genders, the Wynne sex-ed curriculum introduces homosexuality in Grade 3, masturbation in Grade 6, oral and anal sex in Grade 7.
Granic Allen is adamant nixing gender identity theory must be part of the sex-ed repeal.
“We respect parental authority, and parents must make the best situations for their children,” she told LifeSiteNews.
“However, just because one family has a child who wants to change sexes doesn’t mean that unscientific, controversial gender ideology must be forced on the rest of these children,” Granic Allen said.
“Gender identity theory is unscientific and is controversial, therefore has no place in a classroom setting,” she added.
Premier Doug Ford promised during his election campaign he would restore the 1998 sex-ed curriculum and consult parents on a replacement.
But his government has stumbled on the file, with Education Minister Lisa Thompson initially saying some issues, notably gender theory, would still be taught, a statement she seemed to walk back later.
Deputy premier Christine Elliott then suggested in late July teachers could answer questions from students about issues not covered in the old sex-ed curriculum in private, “rather than a classroom discussion,” Canadian Press reported.
However, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association released a statement Monday on its website advising teachers to do no such thing.
“MEMBERS ARE ADVISED NOT TO MEET PRIVATELY WITH STUDENTS TO ANSWER QUESTIONS RELATED TO SEXUAL EDUCATION,” OECTA cautions in capital letters.
“Despite the recent statements by Deputy Premier Christine Elliott, having these types of private discussions with students could result in investigation by the police, CAS, and/or OCT,” it stated.
“This may result in criminal charges and/or loss of your teaching certificate.”
OECTA also advised members “to deliver the Family Life curriculum using the Fully Alive program, as directed by your school board administration.”