‘We are Thorncliffe’: Parents begin pulling students for sex-ed strikes across Ontario
TORONTO, September 18, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Taking as their lead an unprecedented 30-day student school “strike” by parents at Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park Public School, other parents across Ontario are pulling their kids out of school in the next two weeks to protest the Liberal government’s controversial sex-ed curriculum.
Using the rallying slogan of “We are Thorncliffe,” parent rights’ groups in Mississauga, Peterborough, Ajax, and Oshawa are taking their kids out of publicly funded school at least one day, if not more.
The Mississauga strike, organized by Nabila Kiyani began today, and will continue on September 21.
The Concerned Parents of Peterborough plans a one-day strike and picket September 22 with students from both Catholic and public schools expected to take part.
And the newly formed Durham Concerned Parents have planned strikes on September 29 in Ajax and Oshawa. “We are targeting public and Catholic elementary schools in the three ridings: Oshawa North, Whitby-Oshawa and Ajax-Pickering,” organizer Maritza Sialer told LifeSiteNews in an email.
In the heart of Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Don Valley West riding, Thorncliffe Park Public School became a highly publicized flashpoint of sex-ed protest when parents pulled half the students from classes on the first day of school, and vowed to keep the “strike” going for the month of September.
Organized by Thorncliffe Parents Association, the action gained huge media attention, especially since the children were group-homeschooled in a nearby park, which TPA president Khalid Mahmood dubbed the “school in the garden.”
And while participants decreased from 700 children to about 200 by Wednesday, those numbers had surged to 467 children on Monday, September 14, according to TPA’s tally, which is just under one-third of the school’s reported expected enrolment of 1,460 students.
These parents’ rights and pro-family groups say that the Liberal government’s controversial sex-ed curriculum violates children’s innocence by introducing them to age-inappropriate explicit information, and by pushing a dangerous sexual agenda.
Pro-family analysis of the curriculum documents that it introduces children to homosexuality in Grade 3, masturbation in Grade 6, oral and anal sex in Grade 7 and that it teaches there are six genders rather than two biological sexes.
“A time of darkness calls for no compromise whatsoever, especially when the innocence of our children is at stake,” Sialer noted. “In a time of darkness there can be no compromising the light of the Gospel, it cannot be put under a bushel basket into order to prolong the life of Catholic Education.”
“Parents have deliberately been left out of the curriculum, but the groundswell of concerned parents must continue to make their voices heard,” she added.
“Student strikes are spreading to communities outside of Toronto, following the groundbreaking Thorncliffe model,” says Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Coalition.
The Mississauga group is also group-homeschooling today and Monday, at an area between Churchill Meadows Public School and St. Faustina Elementary School at McDowell Drive. LifeSiteNews could not reach organizers by deadline.
Durham Concerned Parents strikers will gather at Memorial Park, Ajax and Goodman Park, Oshawa on September 29. The group is also planning a September 26 car rally.
The Peterborough September 22 action will begin with an 8:00 a.m. picket of the Peterborough Catholic school board office and adjacent Holy Cross Catholic Elementary School.
“We urge more parents to stand in solidarity with these brave and loving parents who are making such personal sacrifice for the good of all our children," says Fonseca. "Do not let them stand alone,” he added. “Stand in solidarity with them, plan a one-day student strike, and proclaim in your community, ‘We are Thorncliffe!’”