The last time the Ontario Liberal government brought in a new sex education curriculum, it survived the storm from parents and religious leaders for just three days. Now the Liberals are promising a new, new sex education curriculum for elementary schools in 2015 — contents unknown — and Progressive Conservative Party leadership hopeful Monte McNaughton is leading a charge against it.
McNaughton fired up Question Period in Ontario’s provincial legislature on Tuesday by challenging Premier Kathleen Wynne to release the details of the re-reform. “Why don't you simply release the details of the proposed changes to the sex education curriculum now?” the MPP asked Wynne. “What are you trying to hide?”
But the premier, who was education minister in 2010 and oversaw the development of that year’s attempted curriculum revision, notably avoided the question with bluster.
McNaughton told LifeSiteNews, “I can’t get into detailed complaints because I just don’t know what’s in it. But I strongly believe, especially in sex education, that parents are primarily responsible for educating their children. And they are the best judges of what is age-appropriate.”
The rejected 2010 version had discussed genitalia in grade one, gender as a social construct in grade three, same-sex “marriage” in grade four, masturbation in grade six, and anal sex in grade seven.
“Nowhere was there anything about the health risks of anal sex,” Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Coalition told LifeSiteNews. Fonseca, like McNaughton, believes parents should be told now the details of curricular innovations, which he believes will be the same ones as in 2010.
Back then Evangelical leader Charles McVety, the media-wise founder of Canada Christian College, led the charge against the curriculum, and other religious leaders joined him in opposition. Catholic Archbishop Terrence Prendergast called for all Catholic parents to lobby their MPPs. After three days, then-Premier Dalton McGuinty pulled the new curriculum.
In the provincial legislature this week Premier Wynne avoided McNaughton’s questions, stating that McNaughton lacked confidence in the ability of the elected chairpersons of parents’ councils, one in each of 4,000 elementary schools, who will carry the burden of the consultation. This was news to McNaughton, he says, because Education Minister Liz Sandals said several weeks ago that principals would each select the parental representative in their school to participate in the consultation.
Ministry of Education spokesman Gary Wheeler told LifeSiteNews “that at this point we will be consulting with parents across Ontario. We have not made any final decisions about what will be included in the updated curriculum for 2015.”
The questionnaire that will form the backbone of the consultation, however, contains a series of “motherhood” statements that parents are invited to agree or disagree with, rather than being offered clear cut choices. For example, they are asked whether they agree that “it’s important for my child to learn about sexual health concepts before they face a situation where they may need the information,” a question so broadly expressed it could mean teaching seven year olds about bondage.
Parents are asked if they believe “that it’s important that my child(ren) see themselves reflected in the curriculum” and if “it is important to me that my child(ren) are exposed to all kinds of diversity through the school curriculum”—both obvious carte blanches for teaching about homosexuality and transgenderism, without reference to age appropriateness.
McNaughton, the father of a 15-month-old girl, doubts the validity of the consultation. “Every parent should be consulted, not 4,000 parents. And they have a right to know now about what’s in the curriculum.” The MPP said he believes “it is substantially completed.”
Education Minister Liz Sandals has already said, according to the Toronto Star, that, “The results of the survey are unlikely to lead to any direct changes to the curriculum.”
Find a full listing of LifeSiteNews' coverage of the Ontario government's explicit sex-ed program here.