Thursday, January 29, 2015

More community voices concerned over Ontario's proposed sex education cirriculum

Panel discussion on Sur Sagar TV and Radio
It's encouraging to see that there are more groups and community voices speaking up against the proposed sex education curriculum being introduced by the Liberal government. Last night, I was one of the three guests on Sur Sagar TV and Radio discussing Premier Kathleen Wynne's intention to bring back the withdrawn explicit sex education curriculum for Ontario elementary students. The program host was Rana Sidnu. Along with myself there were two other guests: Harkirat Singh, a trustee for Wards 9, 10 in the Peel District School Board and Jotwinder Singh, a community activist. The live broadcast was done in both Punjabi and English.

Trustee Harkirat made the point that to address parental concerns he had written and sent a letter to the Liberal government asking for a more extensive consultation process regarding the sex education component of the physical and health education program. The government has said that it wants to implement the curriculum for the new school year beginning in September 2015. However, the content has not yet been made public and this is not reassuring for parents who want to have a say in what their children are learning especially when it comes to health, moral and sexual issues. He has not received a a government response to his letter.

Jotwinder has worked with the Punjabi community, and as a parent wiht chikldren in the schools, is worried about what the curriculum will mean not just for his children, but for all students. In reference to sexting and cyberbullying, he acknowledged the dangers. However, he questioned how an explicit sex education curriculum will address these problems. He said it's the parents who must be involved in teaching their children, with the help of teachers and community resources, to use social media responsibly. Jotwinder Singh also made known that the computer program that parents must use to give their input to the government regarding the curriculum is not always working and puts limits on how parents can respond. The entire process he said needs to change and made both transparent and accountable to parents.  (more...)

A letter to the editor from a concerned parent:

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