By Jonathon Van Maren
Earlier this month, LSN reported that the Toronto District School Board was planning to conduct “census” surveys, one for ages 9 to 11 (grades 4-6) and another for ages 12 to 13 (grades 7-8) in which they would be asked about gender and sexuality; presented with a series of identities they could choose; and also what they know about “breast binding” and “tucking.” Breast binding is when girls who identify as male flatten their chests with dangerous “binders” that can have long term physical effects; “tucking” refers to boys who identify as female “tucking” their genitals between their legs so as to appear more female.
One question, for example, attempts to determine how much education children are receiving about these practices: “At school, I learn about LGBTQ2SIA+ communities (like their history; non-gendered menstrual products; binding, packing, tucking, or padding options; violence and discrimination faced by the community; etc.).” All of the questions present the premises of gender ideology as fact and the aforementioned practices as fundamentally good, in addition to pushing identity options such as “enby,” “genderfluid,” or “genderqueer.”
Fortunately, after True North reported on the issue, the Toronto District School Board is temporarily shelving the student census after keeping it online for only three days, noting in an email to parents that they “have temporarily paused the release of the TDSB Student Census to allow time for further review.” True North noted that the “announcement was buried among news about a current education workers’ strike.” I suspect, however, that the TDSB is waiting to quietly bring the census back with a few immaterial changes – especially considering that in Ontario, both the public and Catholic school systems are mandated to conduct demographic “censuses” as part of the provincial government’s “equity action plan.”