Toronto

Sex-ed curriculum protesters to keep children out of school

Several parents are vowing to keep their children away from an East York school until the end of the month to protest the province's sex-ed curriculum.

'They're spreading a lot of misleading information,' principal says of some parents

Several parents and children protested the province's sex-ed curriculum Thuesday outside Thorncliffe Park Public School.
Several parents vowed Thursday to keep their children away from an East York school until the end of the month to protest the province's sex-ed curriculum.

"We have decided we're not going to send our children back to school, we will keep protesting, we'll continue group homeschooling," Khalid Mahmood, a member of the Thorncliffe Parents Association, told a news conference that was held in a local community centre. 
 
"The content is so bad that we can not teach it to our children," Mahmood said. "It's inappropriate. There's no science or medical background that supports the curriculum and we believe it will lead to mental disorders, STDs and early pregnancies."

Complaints from parents have ranged from a lack of consultation with them, to lessons not being age appropriate, to not wanting their children to learn about same-sex relationships and different gender identities.

A few months ago, the Canadian Families Alliance urged parents across the province to keep their children away from school Thursday to protest the curriculum, but hundreds of parents brought their children to Thorncliffe Park Public School.

"We were encouraged the protest wasn't as large as we thought it might be," Jeff Crane, the school's principal, told CBC News. "It's Toronto 2015. I didn't think I'd have to be convincing people to come to school. It's unprecedented."

In an interview with CBC News, Crane said he had concerns about the Thorncliffe Parents Association's agenda.

"There are some parents who are part of that group and they've been very active from the beginning, but unfortunately, they're spreading a lot of misleading information," he said.

"In recent weeks, they've come flat out and said they don't want homosexual teachers in schools. It's getting away from the curriculum now."

On Wednesday, Crane told Metro Morning's Matt Galloway he's been engaging parents in meetings and workshops, trying to assure them that sexual education forms a "tiny component" just "a few lessons" of the overall health and physical education curriculum. 

However, Campaign Life Coalition's Jack Fonseca said he is convinced the curriculum "is politically driven by a government that wants to indoctrinate our kids and sexualize them early."

At a news conference, Fonseca said: "The point of the [one-day] strike is to keep pushing back against the Liberal government and to get them to reconsider foisting this on our children. We want a total repeal of this curriculum and to start over with genuine, meaningful parental consultation process."

The Ontario government has said the upgraded curriculum is needed to keep children safe in light of changes in technology since the late 1990s, including the advent of social media and the widespread use of cellular devices.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now