Kitchener-Waterloo

Quality of sex education focus of Kitchener youth roundtable

A community consultation in Kitchener this September is bringing young people together to talk about the quality of the sex education that they are receiving in schools.

‘Huge holes’ in how sex education is being taught across Canada, says advocate

An upcoming community consultation will ask young people in Kitchener-Waterloo what they think about the sex education they are being taught in schools. Students from across the country have said that current curriculums "did almost nothing to prepare them." (weedezign/Shutterstock )

Students in Kitchener will be gathering in September to talk about the sex education they get in Ontario's schools. 

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, the advocacy group that is running the event, says the roundtable discussion is a step toward ensuring all young people across the country have access to high quality sex education. 

The group is visiting provinces across Canada and speaking to youth between the ages of 15 and 20, many of whom say the sex ed they are receiving in school is insufficient. 

"Almost all of them talk about what they needed and what they weren't getting," Darrah Teitel, campaigns manager for Action Canada told CBC Kitchener-Waterloo. "They're talking about how sex ed did almost nothing to prepare them." 

One reason for this, Teitel explained, is that curriculums are being inconsistently taught, depending on what school or province the student was in, or even who was teaching it. 

Little or no sex ed

In the most extreme cases, some kids weren't learning any sex ed at all. 

"We've spoke to some young people who today, in 2019, did not get sex ed. [They] literally fell through the cracks, and did not get any sexuality education," Teitel said. 

And aside from enforcing the curriculum, she said the group wants both federal and provincial governments to invest in training and resources for teachers who may want to teach sex ed but don't have adequate tools to do so. 

The group wants to help young people access the right kind of sex ed, but Teitel said it also wants to empower them to push for the kind of sex education they need in school themselves. 

"We are also recording a lot of what young people say in order to help them advocate for themselves to decision makers."

The Ontario segment of the national consultations will be held on September 18, at a Kitchener location still to be determined.

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