By Jonathon Van Maren
It appears that Doug Ford intends to keep his promise on the Ontario sex education curriculum—and is responding to calls by organizations like Parents as First Educators to dispense with Kathleen Wynne’s sex-ed right out of the gate. According to the Toronto Star, Wynne’s curriculum has already been tossed out:
Students in Ontario will be taught the old sex education curriculum — which pre-dates same-sex marriage, Google and social media — when they go back to school in September, says Education Minister Lisa Thompson.
Following on Premier Doug Ford’s election promise to scrap the updated lesson plans introduced in 2015, Thompson said Wednesday the Progressive Conservative government will soon begin deciding how to revamp them in conjunction with parents.
“The sex-ed component is going to be reverted back to the manner in which it was prior to the changes that were introduced by the Liberal government,” she told reporters.
The old curriculum dates to 1998 while the modernized lesson plan, opposed by social conservatives, covers areas such as same-sex relationships, gender identity, cyberbullying, and the dangers of sexting.
“We’re going to be moving very swiftly with our consultations and I will be sharing with your our process in the weeks to come,” said Thompson. “We’re going to be working on a fulsome consultation respecting parents and moving forward as the plan unfolds.”
It was not, as I’m sure you can imagine, the sections in the curriculum that discussed cyberbullying and the dangers of sexting that had social conservatives and many new Canadians up in arms. The discussions about anal sex in Grade 7 and masturbation in Grade 6 paired with the complete absence of any discussion regarding marriage or even a meaningful relationship in the context of sexual behavior did have a lot to do with it.
This is an encouraging first step from Doug Ford’s team, and should do much to eliminate the suspicions of social conservatives who were disillusioned by Tanya Granic Allen’s abrupt expulsion from the Progressive Conservative Party shortly before the June election. This victory is as much her victory as anyone else’s—she has been working relentlessly on this issue for several years, and her presence in the PC leadership race ensured that it would become an election issue. Despite Granic Allen’s departure, Ford assured voters that his promises would be kept.
So far, so good.
For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.