VANCOUVER, March 10, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As Ontario parents gird themselves for a battle over the planned sex education curriculum, British Columbia is quietly promoting a less radical revamp of its entire pubic school curriculum across the board, sex-ed included, with far less fanfare.
Some of the elements that alarm Ontario mothers and fathers are there, such as the use of condoms in grade six, but from the general outline published so far, B.C. is apparently not pushing homosexuality or other “sexual minorities” to the same extent.
Still, already there is pressure on the government surfacing to promote outlier sexual behaviors as Ontario’s new sex education model does.
Pushing the Ontario approach for B.C. is Vancouver freelance classroom sex educator Saleema Noon. She has told the CBC and Sun Media that she wants abnormal sexual behaviors, “sexual expression,” and “diversity” all promoted with the same panache as in Ontario—and in kindergarten too.
“Younger children are easier to teach,” she said. “It’s just science to them.”
“There’s no way of teaching a child something too early,” she said, because if it is taught too early, it will just go over their heads.”
“When I’m teaching kids of all ages, as well as parents, I never use terms like ‘mom’ or ‘dad’, to reflect the reality that all families are different,” she said. “I also avoid using words like ‘husband’ and ‘wife.’ Rather, we use the term ‘partner.’”
Noon runs “Saleema Noon Sexual Health Educators,” which styles itself “a group of smart and current sex trainers with a focus on safe, practical content; mixed with a youthful, fun.”
The general outline of British Columbia’s proposed health and physical education curriculum suggests it does fall short of Ontario’s in addressing Noon’s priorities. It first brings up inappropriate touching and how to respond to it in grade one, but does not mention sex explicitly until grade four, when the changes attending puberty are first covered.
That year and in those that follow the avoidance of sexual abusers is a recurring theme, while in grades five and six “practices that reduce the risk of acquiring and passing on sexually transmitted diseases” are addressed (condoms), as are “practises that promote healthy sexual decision-making.” In grade eight the negative effects of STDs are on the lesson plan along with “risk reduction” in terms of sexual activity, and sexual and gender identity.
In sum, like Ontario’s, British Columbia’s curriculum treats sexuality in an entirely mechanistic way, detached from morality and, in the outline at least, even from relationships.
Ontario’s approach has support from Christians in British Columbia as in Ontario. Allyson Jule, co-director of the Gender Studies Institute at Trinity Western University in Langley, told LifeSiteNews, “We all would want to raise our children in innocence, but the reality is we can’t. Sexuality is central to childhood today,” thanks to the electronic and social media and the Internet. “The Ontario Sex Education Curriculum is a good attempt to explain this complicated world to children,” said Jule.
Still, Martin Dale, the principal of the Traditional Learning Academy, an independent school in Coquitlam, B.C., told LifeSiteNews that parents should be the primary educators of their children in sexual matters, not least because they know best what is age-appropriate. “Even in the primary grades there can be two or three years’ difference in maturity in a classroom,” said Dale. “As well there is a such diversity in cultural backgrounds. There are great dangers in a one-size-fits-all curriculum.”
What dangers? First, said Dale, “the loss of innocence. I’ve had parents come to me almost wringing their hands saying, ‘our daughter in Grade two (in the public schools) has just been taught how to put a condom on a penis.’ How are children supposed to look at each other after that, at their parents? It’s traumatizing to them.”
But school-delivered sex education content could also cause mistrust in a family, he added, giving the example of a grade schooler warned about inappropriate touching who goes home to challenge his father over changing his little sister’s diaper.
Victoria Catholic priest Dean Henderson, a father of five who was formerly an Anglican priest, told LifeSiteNews that if B.C. were to follow Ontario’s lead, “parents would start looking for alternatives,” namely, independent schools such as the Traditional Learning Academy, or home schooling.
What else could parents do, asked Fr. Henderson, if the public school curriculum was “hostile to their world view?” The Ontario curriculum, he said, appears “incompatible with the Catholic worldview that we are sexual beings meant to glorify God with our lives and with our sexuality, through chastity before marriage and fidelity and to our lifelong marital vows and openness to the possibility of procreation and the nurturing of children.”
Find a full listing of LifeSiteNews' coverage of the Ontario sex-ed curriculum here.