Every time I hear the word values, especially when it’s paired with words like religious or political, my blood boils. There is very little chance that one person’s values are completely consistent with those of others. That’s why when I read a statement like
Protesters outside Premier Kathleen Wynne’s constituency office worry curriculum changes contradict their religious values and expose children to too much detail too early. . .
There have been numerous articles in the Toronto Star explaining why “Ontario is right to press ahead with new sex-ed curriculum,” but hysterical parents would rather “rally and rage” and share their irrational fears and opinions with the Star. While the bulk of protesters interviewed by the Star were age or older 40, the statements made by 11 year old Manahil Khalil are particularly indicative of the need for public school students to be introduced to critical thinking early in their education:
For the first time, Manahil Khalil won’t be walking the halls of Thorncliffe Park Public School on the first day of class. Instead, she’ll be homeschooled. At Wednesday’s protest, Khalil, 11, called on other children and parents to boycott going to class to protest the Ontario government’s new “dirty curriculum.” The subject matter planned for her Grade 6 classmates — including possible discussions on masturbation and “gender expression” — isn’t right for her, she said. Khalil, who hasn’t read the new curriculum (“My parents won’t let me read it because it’s too gross”), said she trusts her parents to know what and when it is best for her to learn.
The Ontario government’s new sex-ed curriculum is not “dirty” and if the printed document or computer screen the parents are reading is “covered or marked with an unclean substance,” then the parents should wear gloves or clean the screen.
The idea that sex is “dirty” is so 1950s, a time when misinformation about sex was rampant . Wendy Cassibault, who is 63, has not progressed past her 50s childhood. Ms.
Wendy Cassibault, who runs a prayer program with high school students, showed up with her Thorncliffe Park neighbours to condemn the new curriculum, which she called “indoctrination of children.” Cassibault, a retired teacher who spent 32 years teaching children in Toronto and who has read the curriculum, called some of the changes “sickening.” “They teach at one point kids are taught that masturbation is fine, and things of that matter. It’s not fine. The body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and those kind of things aren’t appropriate,” she said. Cassibault, holding a sign reading “parents are first educators not politicians,” said she wanted to do her part in a small way for her community.
Manahil Khalil will be homeschooled, as will Muhammad Azhar’s children. Although Azhar read “portions” of the curriculum the “Thorncliffe Parents Association provided to him,’ he already knows that
“Gay and lesbian is against our Islamic values.”
It looks like Mr Azhar is in agreement with Ms Cassibault that the body is a temple of the Holy Spirit
Homeschooling children and exposing them to Ms Cassibault’s “prayer program” are abuses of children’s minds, which supposedly need to be cleansed of “dirty thoughts.”
On September 8, intelligent, thoughtful parents who don’t buy into the agitprop of organizations like the Thorncliffe Parents Association will send their children to school, so their children will be given instruction in all areas of education. They haven’t and won’t force their children to read from a prepared text like the parents of Umeema Arshad khalil have.
On September 8, all school boards should imitate the Peel District School Board and tell parents they,
can remove their kids from sex-ed classes for religious reasons, but any requests for students to opt-out of learning about gay families or diverse gender identities won’t be tolerated, says the director of Ontario’s second largest school board — one that expects to be hard hit by protests over the new health curriculum.
Maybe some school boards will not even allow parents to remove their kids from sex-ed classes for religious reasons. Then the Ontario education system would become
a brave new world,
That has such people in ’t!
That will only happen when the Institute for Catholic Education and the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario are prevented from supplementing the new sex-ed curriculum with their own brand of woo:
the Catholic education community of Ontario will work together to produce resources that support our Catholic teachers and ensure that new curriculum delivered in our classrooms is consistent with the board’s Catholic teachings, and appropriate within the context of a Catholic classroom.
That can happen only when one of the people in that brave new world is Premier Kathleen Wynne.