Last month, Progressive Conservative (i.e. just very conservative) politician Doug Ford, brother of late former Toronto mayor Rob Ford (who is not actually Damien Lewis much as it seems that way), won his bid for Ontario premier, ousting 15 years of governance by the Liberal party. This is working out pretty much as expected, by which I mean horribly.
On Thursday the Globe and Mail reported that, by decree of Doug Ford’s administration, Ontario schools will readopt old ways of teaching sex-education curriculum, banishing topics such as same-sex marriage and online safety from the discourse in the process. The new lessons will be those instituted in 1998, not the updated curriculum rolled out in 2015.
Lisa Thompson, Ontario’s new Education Minister, announced the policy change to reporters on Wednesday, saying, “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. We’re going to be moving very swiftly in our consultations, and I will be sharing with you our process in the weeks to come.”
According to the Globe and Mail, Ontario’s updated sex education guidelines have been opposed for years by some social conservatives in the province, who have taken particular issue with new lessons on gender identity, same-sex marriage, sexting, and masturbation, arguing they are being taught too early, or shouldn’t be taught at all. Shortly after the new curriculum was ratified, a group of parents banded together to threaten taking their kids out of school if it wasn’t changed back.
Andrea Horwath, leader of the Ontario’s New Democratic party, criticized Ford’s regressive decision, saying, “Going backwards in terms of keeping our kids safe and giving them the information they need to stay safe is not the right direction for the kids of this province.”
The old curriculum is expected to go into effect this September.