Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday May 5, 2015
Thousands of parents keep kids home from school in sex-ed protest
Parents of thousands of elementary students across Toronto kept their children out of class Monday to protest the sex-ed portion of Ontario’s new health curriculum.
The hardest hit school was Thorncliffe Park Public School, where only about 130 children showed up for class out of the usual 1,350 — or roughly 10 per cent. At nearby Gateway Public School, some 400 students were away, nearly half the usual enrolment. At Valley Park Middle School, some 590 students were absent out of the total 950.
“In Grade 1 they should be learning about the ABCs, not sex,” said Thorncliffe Park parent Lubna Awah, who kept her kindergarten son home.
“Boys are boys and girls are girls — why should they learn about a third (gender) in Grade 1?” asked Awah, who said she believes children will be encouraged to question their gender identity as early as Grade 1.
Awah said she learned much of what she is concerned about regarding the new curriculum earlier this spring on a flyer circulated by what she called a “Chinese Christian group,” because she said the school did not educate parents.
The new curriculum, endorsed by a coalition of doctors, educators, mental health experts as long overdue in an age of sexting, easy access to online pornography and a falling age of puberty, includes references to anal and oral sex in the context of warning students these alternatives to intercourse can also be risky because they can spread sexually transmitted disease, yet many protesters said they believe the curriculum encourages such behaviour. Critics have seized onto this, as well as possible explanations about masturbation that teachers would offer if asked by students, as encouraging all these behaviours — something educators have insisted in not the case. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)