Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ontario Tory Minister Flip-Flops on Sex-Ed Curriculum Stance

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ontario Tory Minister Flip-Flops on Sex-Ed Curriculum Stance

Article excerpt

Tory government flip-flops on sex-ed stance

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TORONTO - Ontario's education minister went back and forth Monday on just what students will learn while her government scraps the province's modernized sex-ed curriculum.

Ultimately, Lisa Thompson indicated that no decisions had been made on whether concepts like consent, cyber safety and gender identity will be taught in classrooms this fall.

The province's new Progressive Conservative government announced last week that it was reverting to a 1998 version of the curriculum while consultations are carried out to create a new document.

Thompson first told the legislature on Monday that not all parts of the modernized sex-ed curriculum -- updated in 2015 by the Liberals -- would be scrapped.

"We know they need to learn about consent," she said at the legislature. "We know they need to learn about cyber safety, we know they need to learn about gender identity and appreciation. But we also know that the former Liberal government's consultation process was completely flawed."

A short time later, Thompson told reporters that only a portion of the curriculum will be rolled back, not the entire document.

"What we'll be looking at is the developing sexual relations," she said. "That's the part in the curriculum that we'll be taking a look at."

Late Monday afternoon, however, Thompson's office released a statement that appeared to contradict her comments from earlier in the day.

"We have made no decisions on what the new curriculum will look like. The final decision on the scope of the new curriculum will be based on what we hear from Ontario parents," the statement said.

"While these consultations occur, we are reverting to the full health and physical education curriculum that was last taught in 2014. This curriculum leaves ample space to discuss current social issues."

Premier Doug Ford repeatedly promised to repeal and replace the sex-ed curriculum during his run for the Tory leadership earlier this year and during the spring election, saying parents had not been adequately consulted. …

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