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Canada Health-care professionals speak out against changing Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum

02:25  08 august  2018
02:25  08 august  2018 Source:   thestar.com

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Nearly 1,800 health - care professionals are adding their voices to those urging the provincial government to keep the updated sex - ed curriculum . Ontario ' s Education Minister Lisa Thompson, seen here during question period at the Ontario Legislature on Aug.

CCLA summer legal student Erica McLachlan speaks out against the government' s repeal of the modern Sex Ed curriculum at the March For Our Education. You're viewing YouTube in Russian. You can change this preference below.

a woman in a red shirt talking on a cell phone: Ontario's Education Minister Lisa Thompson, seen here during question period at the Ontario Legislature on Aug. 2, 2018, has said the province will work with school boards to ensure they have the sex-ed curriculum they need.© Chris Young Ontario's Education Minister Lisa Thompson, seen here during question period at the Ontario Legislature on Aug. 2, 2018, has said the province will work with school boards to ensure they have the sex-ed curriculum they need.

Nearly 1,800 health-care professionals are adding their voices to those urging the provincial government to keep the updated sex-ed curriculum.

A letter of concern and a petition were delivered to Queen’s Park on Tuesday, saying the old curriculum — which was used starting in 1998 — is unsafe for kids. It was signed by doctors, nurses, midwives, social workers and medical students, among others in the health field.

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However, Education Minister Lisa Thompson told reporters she expects teachers to revert to the previous curriculum while the government holds public consultations.

The old curriculum was taught until 2014 but because it is two decades out of date, it does not include a number of current issues including cyber-bullying or talk of same-sex families or consent.

We invite everyone to participate in our consultation that we’ll be kicking off later this fall, and so while I appreciate them coming forward and exercising their voices (Tuesday), I really want to engage them, again, in the proper consultation that we promised we would do,” Thompson said at Queen’s Park, adding “it’s about respecting parents.”

Some 27 public school boards have now also issued statements on the province’s decision to revert back to the old lessons, with some saying they will teach equity and inclusion regardless. One board in northern Ontario has said that without proper resources — it no longer has the old curriculum — as well as funding to train teachers, it won’t use the outdated curriculum.

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A Sex education curriculum is a sex education program encompassing the methods, materials, and assessments exercised to inform individuals of the issues relating to human sexuality, including human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual intercourse, reproductive health , emotional relations

Health - care professionals speak out against changing Ontario ’ s sex - ed curriculum . Ontario school boards will be given materials to teach old sex - ed curriculum , education minister says. Education minister returns with no clarity on sex - ed curriculum .

Meanwhile, some teachers have signed an online petition saying that this fall they will be “teaching best practices in health and physical education ... (and) applying the principles of equity and inclusion to uphold the human rights and dignity of all our students.”

It also says they will be “insisting that the buildings our students learn in be safe and healthy. We will not be bullied by any governments’ attempts to roll back life-saving advances in curriculum or cutbacks to crucial education funding.”

However, at least one unit of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association is warning that educators who “take a pledge to continue to teach the right thing in spite of the Ontario government’s latest announcements” could face discipline.

Thompson has been asked repeatedly about the consequences for teachers who don’t follow government order, but will only say she is “confident” teachers will use the previous curriculum.

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WATCH: Ontario teachers rebelling against new sex - ed curriculum . TORONTO – A union representing Ontario ’ s elementary school teachers is calling on its members to continue to teach a READ MORE: Horwath, health care workers ask PC government to stop repeal of sex - ed curriculum .

TORONTO – Hundreds of doctors, nurses and social workers are asking the Ontario government to reconsider its plan to repeal and replace a modernized sex - ed curriculum , arguing the decision would put students’ health at risk.

But NDP Education Critic Peggy Sattler said many educators are worried that by teaching the outdated lessons they will actually be violating “their professional obligation to protect the health and well-being of students,” and that the Canadian Civil Liberties Association says schools boards are required to be inclusive.

Kristin Rushowy is a Toronto-based reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow her on Twitter: @krushowy

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