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Andrea Luey is a staff lawyer for Toronto legal clinic Justice for Children and Youth.
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Transgender teens sue Ford’s gov’t over sex-ed repeal in Ontario

Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne

TORONTO, September 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Two Toronto transgender students have filed separate human rights complaints against Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government over its repeal of the 2015 Liberal sex education curriculum.

The 15-year-olds, identified only by their first names Ryan and Noah, are each claiming $15,000 in damages against Premier Doug Ford’s government, the Toronto Star reported.

The two are biological females who began transitioning to a male identity in elementary school, according to the Star. Both now attend high school in Toronto.

Andrea Luey, staff lawyer for Toronto legal clinic Justice for Children and Youth, filed the claims on the pair’s behalf with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal on Friday, CBC reported.

The teens claim repealing the Liberal sex-ed curriculum will lead to a “hostile” school environment for them and other transgender students.

They are asking that the sex-ed curriculum not be repealed this school year and that its replacement comply with the Ontario Human Rights Code, according to CBC.

Minister of Education Lisa Thompson has directed Ontario schools to use the 2010 health curriculum until the Tories come up with a new version after they hold consultations.

But the two transgender students allege Thompson’s interim curriculum has “removed all content from the elementary curriculum regarding gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirited identifies and issues,” the CBC reported.

“The 2015 sex-ed curriculum included everybody,” Noah said in a Monday news release. “The new curriculum leaves people out. Students won’t be taught what they need to know to ensure everyone feels welcome.”

They allege in their human rights claims that the Tory interim curriculum has “excluded all content regarding gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, same-sex families, negotiating consent to sexual activity, invisible disabilities, HIV and the impacts of HIV stigma, and online safety from the mandatory learning expectations.”

However, according to parent advocate Tanya Granic Allen, the Tories have not repealed the Liberal high school sex-ed curriculum, and Thompson’s interim 2010 elementary sex-ed curriculum still includes the basics of the unscientific gender theory.

That’s because the 2010 health curriculum was developed under the Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy that then-minister of education and openly lesbian Wynne and deputy minister of education Ben Levin implemented in 2009.

Levin, who admitted he oversaw the equity strategy development, was sentenced to three years in jail in 2015 for three child pornography related convictions, including counseling another to commit sexual assault, in this case, of a minor.

When Premier Dalton McGuinty shelved the sex-ed, or “growth and development” component of Wynne-Levin’s 2010 health curriculum after parental backlash, that section reverted to the 1998 version, but the health curriculum as a whole kept references to gender identity and sexual orientation as mandated by Wynne’s equity strategy.

The 2010 curriculum therefore defines gender as a “term that refers to those characteristics of women and men that are socially constructed,” and gender identity as a “person’s sense of self, with respect to being male or female. Gender identity is different from sexual orientation, and may be different from birth-assigned sex.”

Granic Allen, president of Parents As First Educators, has been taking stacks of petitions to Queen’s Park to ensure Ford will fully repeal the sex-ed curriculum, including nixing gender theory.

Critics of the Wynne sex-ed curriculum say it destroys children’s innocence by exposing them to sexual concepts at too early an age, and that it presents gender theory as fact.

The Liberal curriculum introduces homosexuality in Grade 3, masturbation in Grade 6, oral and anal sex in Grade 7, and teaches there are six genders — male, female, two-spirited, transgender, transsexual and intersex — rather than two biological sexes.

Meanwhile, the transgender teens’ human rights complaint is the latest in an all-out campaign by the NDP, and activists to stop the repeal.

Six families announced mid-August they are filing a human rights complaint against the sex-ed repeal, with the lead plaintiff an 11-year-old transgender student. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association launched a court action a week later to stop the repeal, claiming it violates Ontario’s Education Act mandate for inclusive school environments, Charter guarantees of equality and security of the person, and Ontario’s Human Rights Code.

Then the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario jumped into the fray, announcing the first day of school that it was taking the Ford government to court to stop the repeal and shut down the so-called “snitch site” the Tories set up for parents to file complaints against teachers.

Campaign Life Coalition, another leading critic of the Wynne sex ed, blasted the union as “elitist” and ignoring poll evidence that a majority of Ontarians support the repeal.

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