Parents protest new sex ed curriculum in Windsor-Essex

A handful of parents in Windsor-Essex are protesting Ontario’s new sex ed curriculum by keeping their kids home from school this week.
Gregory Moore, left, of Amhertsburg helps his son Jordan with homework. Gregory kept Jordan home today in protest of Ontario's new sex ed curriculum. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

A handful of parents in Windsor-Essex are protesting Ontario's new sex ed curriculum by keeping their kids home from school this week.

A parents' group is currently running a Facebook campaign called Parents & Students on strike: one week no school is encouraging parents who oppose the 2015 sex ed curriculum to keep their kids at home.

There's also a Facebook group called Parents Against Ontario Sex-Ed Curriculum that has more than 4,500 likes and encouraged the walkout.

Province 'taking power out of parents hands'

Gregory Moore of Amherstburg kept all four his kids from attending Stella Maris Catholic Elementary School Monday. He'll keep them home Friday, too.

Moore, who's kids range in age, from five to 12, said the province is taking power out of the hands of parents.

"We should have the ability to teach such a sensitive subject, but the province is saying, 'No it's our ability to teach these sensitive issues.' Every family is different, so you can't put everybody in the same basket, and say that one person or one set of ideology or one standard can teach an entire populous." 

Moore said one part of the curriculum he does not agree with is student in Grade 7 being told to carry condoms with them — just in case. 

"Some people are going to have an objection to that," said Moore. "Some people don't belive that 11 and 12 year olds should be having sex at that age. Our kids are riding dirt bikes and and jumping off trees...they're not interested in that type of stuff yet. The province doesn't know that, apparently they think they do." 

Moore doesn't disagree with the entire curriculum, but he said it should be parents that teach children about these topics. 

New curriculum 'unsafe' 

Stephanie Patterson is the mother of two students at Windsor's Gordon McGregor School.

She also kept her children home Monday, because she said the new sex ed curriculum takes her rights away as a parent.

"They're forcing an opinion, a lifestyle in reference to homosexuality, transgenderism, all those different topics," said Patterson. "Those are choices and lifestyles in my personal opinion, I feel are being forced to accept and I'm not saying I have any hatred of any kind towards people of that nature, but I believe I as a parent have a right to teach my child in those regards," she said. 

Patterson called the new curriculum "unsafe."

"I will find out when they are teaching these things, and I will pull them out of school," she said. "I will do what ever mean I have to do to protect my child." 

Curriculum doesn't conflict with church 

Windsor Essex Catholic School Board spokesman Steve Fields said the new sex education curriculum doesn't conflict with church.

He said he'd rather see the parents come in to discuss their issues and possible accommodations.

"Those opportunities exist, they exist for any aspect of all curriculums," said Fields. "Those discussions should be on an individual basis with the teachers and the principals and we can discuss making accommodations with those students." 

Neither Fields or the Greater Essex County District School Board knew how many parents kept kids home today.


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