TORONTO, ON (July 16, 2018) — March for Our Education, Leadnow and the undersigned are unswayed by the Minister of Education’s response to the groundswell of Ontarians who are outraged that this government would deprive students of the fact-based 2015 sex-education curriculum. The groups, who are calling for the Ontario government to reinstate the newer sex education, claim the minister’s minimal comments claiming the curriculum will teach “consent, cyberbullying and gender” disregards Ontario students and concerned citizens because they have not explained where this information will come from, since they still plan to use the 1998 pre-texting-era curriculum.
The 2015 sex-education curriculum was developed over four years by experts in child development and internet safety, police, and social workers, in consultation with parents, to provide students with thorough information to make safe choices and learn about consent, acceptance of difference and more.
“We the students don’t accept Minister Thompson’s comments. They are confusing because without showing any real plan, her words don’t mean anything,” said Toronto high school student and March for Our Education organizer Frank Hong. “If they’re still using the 1998 curriculum, how will the Ontario government whip something up that appropriately teaches us these important topics before we go back to school in six weeks? Until the 2015 sex-ed curriculum is put back, we’re not backing down.”
March for Our Education is a rally and march organized by high school students and supported by advocacy groups to protest the Ontario government repealing the 2015 fact-based sex-ed curriculum and is happening at 11 AM on Saturday, July 21 at Queen’s Park.
“The Doug Ford government just blinked,” said Leadnow campaigner Rachel Nelems. “They’ve shown Ontarians that if enough of us speak up, they’ll listen — but the minister’s comments only light a fire. We’re not stopping until the Ontario government provides students with a lesson plan that treats these essential issues with the respect and dignity they deserve.”
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association also indicated that any effort by the Ontario Government to censor sex-education content on the basis of gender or sexual orientation will attract a legal challenge and it would send lawyers to prevent it, if needed, as the organization has done to protect civil liberties in Canada for over 50 years.
March for Our Education, Leadnow and the undersigned are calling on the Ontario government to immediately reinstate the 2015 sex-education curriculum, so no student is left unsafe. Until that is done, the coalition of groups will continue to advocate for the fact-based education Ontario’s students deserve.
Student organizer, March for Our Education
Campaigner at Leadnow