SYED JAWED ANWAR
SINCE the last few weeks, Ontario Sex Education Curriculum was in the media lime light. This sparked a various discussions in different forums.
Concerned parents are angry, frustrated and losing the confidence and belief in the public education system.
It has been reported that the Ministry of Education and its different agencies are asking parents consent to implement sex education curriculum. This is a blatant lie.
The fact is that:
Premier Kathleen Wynne will introduce a controversial sex education curriculum into Ontario elementary schools in September 2015. Controversial because the last time the Liberal government tried to do this in 2010 - when Ms Wynne was education minister from 2006 to early 2010 - it botched it so badly then premier Dalton McGuinty killed it. (QMI Agency news published in Sun on November 9, 2014).
It has been â€œkilledâ€ in 2010 only because the Ontario liberal government was in minority and it could affect the next provincial election. Now that â€œfearâ€ has disappeared as Ontario Liberal got the power with majority in 2014 Ontario election and there is no â€œhurdleâ€ left now to implement their plan. As usual, these issues were never brought to the public at election time.
However, Bill 13 has passed within a year from the same minority liberal assembly with full support of NDP. The â€œAccepting Education Actâ€ is already in place from 2011. This curriculum (promoting homosexual life style through the curriculum KG to 12) is not dependent on Physical & Health education or sex education. It can be placed in any class; Reading, Storytelling, Social studies, Science and any other subject, celebrating several days and weeks for promoting gay life styles, establishing Gay-Straight Alliance Clubs in the schools. Principals of the Toronto Public Schools have been instructed that â€œthe parents need not be informed about sensitive part of the curriculum.â€
This writer was involved in 2008-2011 school councils and was also the chair of school council in 2009-10 at Thorncliffe Park Public School, the largest public school of Canada with over 1700 students at that time. This school is situated at the heart of Ms Kathelen Wynneâ€™s own riding Don Valley West and as I know, not a single parent directly or indirectly was consulted with this issue. Ms Kathelen Wynne put significant effort to prepare Bill 13 and to approve it. (My open letter to Ms Kathelen Wynne)
The truth is neither she nor her government consulted with parents but only with the gay lobbyists, gay rights activists, and all those prominent orgs that are promoting gay-life style in the province and country. Since only their opinion counts in these matters, parents were not â€œqualifiedâ€ to be asked or informed.
Recently, Minister of education has decided to ask one parent (which parent? who will choose the parent? Not clear). That means Thorncliffe Park Public School; with 1700 students and a school with less than 100 students have same vote; one parent. And they call it a â€œdemocracyâ€?
The advocacy groups; Ontario Physical and Health Education Association (OPHEA) and the Ontario Association for the Support of Physical and Health Education (OASPHE) has worked on the subject and made a policy statement to â€œguideâ€ the Ministry of Education in this direction (sex ed curriculum).
Ophea has already prepared a report based on a so called survey that concludes:
â€œThe study examined the opinions and attitudes of Ontario parents regarding school- based sexual health education (SHE). Results are based on surveys from 1002 parents with children attending publically funded elementary or secondary schools in Ontario, Canada. A large majority (87%) of parents â€œStrongly Agreedâ€ or â€œAgreedâ€ that SHE should be provided in school and 84% believed that SHE should start by middle school. All 13 sexual health topics posed to parents were rated as important or very important to teach. These topics included puberty, abstinence, methods of contraception, sexually transmitted infections, skills for healthy relationships, communication skills, sexual orientation, and media literacy. Parents rated themselves, doctors, nurses, and the school system as the competent sources of SHE. Parents also indicated that it is important for their children to learn from an up-to-date SHE curriculum. There were some small differences in the attitudes of mothers and fathers; however, parents with children in public and separate catholic schools did not significantly differ in their support for SHE in the schools. This study confirms past research from across Canada indicating that there is strong and sustained parental support for broadly-based SHE in the schools.â€
The report says â€œdata of this survey was collected from April 6th to April 23rd, 2013 by Environics Research Group. Participants were Environics â€œonline panelistsâ€ who consented to participate in the â€œinternet-based surveyâ€. Panelists who met the eligibility criteria were invited to participate in the survey until the objective of collecting 1000 completed surveys was reachedâ€ (Published in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality 2014).
The sugar coated questionnaire was well structured to get the desired response from the parents. The report itself mentions its limitations as following;
â€œLimitations: There are several limitations that need to be highlighted to place the results in the proper context. Although, the study was conducted with the intent to obtain a representative sample of Ontario parents, the survey respondents were disproportionally well-educated, middle to upper-middle income, and disproportionally mothers rather than fathers. It is also often the case that volunteers for sexuality surveys, as compared to non-volunteers, hold â€œmore liberal sexual attitudes.â€
--(The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality 2014).
This study and manufactured consent is a big slap on the face of the majority parents who hold family and religious values.
One can see that in a â€œliberal democracyâ€ how an organized minority overcome and impose their values on the majority.
In the new proposed sex education curriculum, following are few features the Ministry of education is imposing on the young minds;
- In Grade 1, pupils taught to identify major body parts including genitalia using correct terminology.
- Pupils in Grade 3 taught to describe how visible and invisible differences make each person unique (including sexual orientation, homosexuality, LGBTTIQ, ) and how to show respect for othersâ€™ differences. [Note: The above mentioned survey of Ophea reports that only 37 % agrees that it should start it in the Elementary School and almost half (47% of this 37% ) felt that it should begin in the middle school (grades 6-8). It means Ministry of education is even going beyond this study/survey/consent report)
- In Grade 4, pupils taught to describe physical changes that occur in males and females at puberty and the emotional and social impacts of them.
- Pupils in Grade 6 assess the effects of stereotypes, including homophobia and gender roles, race, ethnicity and ability on relationships and social inclusion.
- Pupils in Grade 8 have to demonstrate an understanding of gender identity and sexual orientation and identify factors that help people develop a positive self-concept.
- Pupils in Grade 7 asked to explain reasons for not engaging in sexual activity and the need to communicate clearly in relationships. Must demonstrate an understanding of physical, emotional, social and psychological factors in sexual health decision making.
- In Grade 8, pupils learn about safe-sex practices, contraception, seeking support and refusal skills.
To the Parents and concerned community and religious leaders:
You have to meet, talk, write, send petitions, and protest against the Ontario Premier, Minister of education, and MPPs. A public campaign must be started now against this minority dictatorial policy. The activism in the public schools will not work much. They are there to implement the policy. They are not the law and policy makers.
To the Premier and Minister of education:
You know how to contact and reach the parents. Whenever, you like to reach the parents, you always do it by making sure that message goes in every visible language in Ontario by translation. If you are really serious to know the consent of the parent, get the answer in â€œyesâ€ and â€œnoâ€ of your proposed sex education curriculum going to be implemented from September 2015. It will take not more than seven days and you will get the response from majority of the parents.
The method: All the classroom teachers of all public funded schools (public and catholic) will send a letter with a survey form to parents asking them to vote in â€œyesâ€ or â€œnoâ€ of the proposed â€œsex curriculum 2010â€.
And you will get the result. It is so easy and so simple.