Thousands of Ontario kids walk out of school

Story by CBC Kids News • 2018-09-21 23:52

Students from more than 100 schools across the province protest changes to the sex-ed curriculum

Thousands of students across Ontario walked out of their classrooms early on Friday.

The co-ordinated move was part of a demonstration against the sex education curriculum in the province.

Earlier this year, Premier Doug Ford announced the province would scrap a curriculum that has been in schools since 2015.

The program that’s now being taught was put in place in 1998 - that makes it 20 years old.

Some people believe the old curriculum is outdated.

Others worried that the new curriculum went too far, teaching kids about gender identity and same-sex marriage, for example.

Ford’s move sparked a wave of protests by parents and teachers - and now students.

One of the organizers of the event, Rayne Fisher-Quan, who is 17 years old and a Grade 12 student in Toronto, said the curriculum that was scrapped taught important lessons.

"The most important thing that we want to come from this is the beginning of a conversation."

Some of the students who walked out were also raising awareness about their desire to learn about Indigenous issues and history from an Indigenous perspective.

Ontario’s education minister, Lisa Thompson, wasn’t available for comment.

She issued the following statement to the CBC:

“We encourage every interested person in Ontario to participate in the provincewide education consultations set to begin next week.”

She is referring to public consultations the province is launching to develop a new sex-ed curriculum.

CBC Kids News caught up with Rayne Fisher-Quan.

How did you organize this walkout?

What do you want to see change?

How do you ensure that you’re taken seriously?

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