Friday, May 8, 2015

Coalition of the pure: How Ontario’s sex ed protests hit critical mass

There was no single group that spearheaded this week’s critical mass of sex ed protests that kept thousands of students out of school. It was concerned parents – from disparate backgrounds, with different personal and cultural values – who formed a surprising united front. Selena Ross and Sahar Fatima report on how they came together

Christina Liu and her son Andrew
In March, 12 Chinese-Canadian parents from Thornhill held a meeting and then founded the Parents Alliance of Ontario for Better Education, which grew within a few weeks to 3,000 members.

In April, the Polish-Canadian Parents Association came into being in Mississauga, establishing a mailing list that connects ethnically Polish parents for the first time.

Both groups, like others that sprang up across the province, had a single purpose in mind: to fight the new sex-education curriculum that will be introduced in schools in September.

The new curriculum tackles such issues as masturbation, same-sex relationships, online safety and the perils of sexting, as well as affirmative consent.

Gerri Gershon, Toronto District School Board trustee for a swath of northeast Toronto encompassing Thorncliffe Park, Lawrence Park and York Mills, said in three decades as a trustee she’s never seen newcomer parents organize themselves politically in such numbers, alongside many Canadian-born parents.  (more...)

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