Ontario students will return to the classroom in September 2018, but their sex education curriculum will be going back to the 1990s.
That’s because Doug Ford’s newly-installed Progressive Conservative government will be reverting back to the old sex education curriculum that was last updated in 1998.
“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,” Lisa Thompson, the minister of education, told reporters at Queen’s Park on July 11.
Thompson promised that consultations will be coming soon.
“We’re going to be moving very swiftly with our consultations and I will be sharing with you our process in the weeks to come,” she said. “We’re going to be working on a fulsome consultation respecting parents and moving forward as the plan unfolds.”
The revised curriculum was introduced in 2015 by the Liberals in order to give students the proper language to describe sexuality, to put a greater emphasis on sexual consent and to explain how gender identity and sexual orientation operate.
NDP leader Andrea Horwath told reporters she was disappointed by the move.
“It is unfortunate that the government is going to go backwards in that regard — things are quite different than they were in the ’90s,” she said. “Young people are faced with all kinds of information that comes from electronic sources that weren’t even in existence back in the day.”
During the election campaign, Ford promised to completely scrap the revised curriculum, falsely claiming that children in Grade 2 were being taught about “six different genders and all the nonsense.”
The move is being praised by radical social conservative groups such as the Campaign Life Coalition, which opposed the revised curriculum because it would, among other things, “normalize homosexual family structures.”
Around 50,000 people have signed a petition on LeadNow urging the Ford government to retain the current sex education curriculum. Meanwhile, only 16,000 signed a Campaign Life Coalition petition asking the Ford government to revert back to the old sex education curriculum in September.