Half of Canadian parents think that the government does not do a better job than parents do in teaching about issues connected to sex and gender, according to the poll. It could miscarry to assume, as did educational bureaucrats such as the ones in Toronto that decided not to provide public school parents with ongoing communication about the equity curriculum, that parents will passively tolerate such intrusion into these personal issues, since the poll states that 70% of taxpayers say they want to be informed prior to any teaching on sex or gender at school. They may likely perceive the government's bill as over-reach, as OCPA argued in the National Post. Premier McGuinty seems willing to risk the ire of parents. Parents are likely to find this attempt to sidestep parental concerns disrespectful. OCPA spokesman Teresa Pierre said, "It is time for parents to tell their MPPs that this bill is a misguided attempt to push an activist agenda into schools over the wishes of a majority of parents."
Concerned parents, both religious and non-religious, have responded that bullying can be tackled without enforcing theories about gender about which there is by no means social consensus. Public statements have been made by a number of Jewish leaders and groups such as the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and the Catholic Civil Rights League, which released a statement recently saying that: "all parents should be alarmed by the assumption by the state of the mandated promotion of a student-led initiative in heavily charged areas of gender and sexuality at all public schools, which leaves little room for parental or educator oversight."
Don't Teach that to My Children
Bill 13 will mandate by law the adoption of Equity and Inclusive Education (EIE) Policies as well as anti-bullying clubs called gay-straight alliances. As described in the Toronto public board's equity manual, the EIE policy demands graphic sexual education material and divisive teaching on gender fluidity for children at very young ages. The implementation of the EIE policy has already begun in Ontario schools and provoked numerous parental complaints this fall about the contentious methods of instructing students about the fluidity of gender, such as using images from X-tra magazine of the Gay Pride Parade, reported in the media in September. In the Abacus poll mentioned above almost half of parents surveyed thought that various EIE concerns such as teaching about the Pride parade were unsuitable in schools and that the teaching of sexual education should be left to the discretion of parents.
The passage of the bill would give the green light for another Liberal run at reforming the sexual education curriculum. A prior attempt in 2010 failed because of parental outcry but former Education Minister Kathleen Wynne has suggested that the shelved curriculum will be brought back. The proposed revisions to the sex-ed curriculum undermine traditional sexual morality according to most of the major world religions, including Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Sikh belief systems. The same Abacus poll reveals that a huge majority of parents are vigilant about evaluating what sex or gender issues are taught at school: 70% of parents want to be informed before any sensitive material is presented at school. Sufficient notice allows parents the option to pull their children from classes whose content they might disagree with. In the Toronto public board, however, the equity manual states that children cannot be pulled out of equity classes due to religious objections.
Read more >