Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sarnia: Kids pulled from school to protest curriculum changes

Some Sarnia-Lambton and Chatham-Kent youngsters have been missing class this week as their parents protest Ontario's new sex-education curriculum.

Between 179 and 190 public elementary school students have been absent across the Lambton-Kent board's 52 schools every day this week, said Jim Costello, board education director.

In the greater Toronto area, thousands have missed class, protesting the changes some parents say goes too far by covering topics like gender identity, masturbation and sexting.

The curriculum is set to start this September.

Parents have the right to withdraw their kids from school, but those children will still be responsible for the work they miss, Costello said.

“I understand that some people are upset and they want to make others aware that they're upset, but at the same time, is it being fair to your own child?” he asked.

Sarnia's Jon McEachran said he's kept his three school-aged children out of school this week because he doesn't agree with the curriculum changes.

“I don't think it's appropriate to teach children that there are six different genders,” he said. “I don't think it's scientifically established and I think we're messing with kids' heads.”

He suggested the new curriculum is a re-imagining of proposals the Dalton McGuinty government unsuccessfully tried introducing in 2010, and said the curriculum robs kids of their innocence by teaching them about sex too young, noting it should be up to parents to talk about sex with their kids.

McEachran and other like-minded parents are organizing a rally outside the public board's Sarnia office Friday at 1 p.m.  (more...)

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