To put it succinctly: I’m enraged by the Sex-Ed “controversy” and protests happening at home in Toronto right now. Education should be a right and not a privilege worldwide, but it is not. Ontario is lucky to have the amazing PUBLIC school system it does. Parents boycotting school in Ontario over sex-ed should be ashamed of themselves. Not only are most of those same parents ill- or mis-informed about what the curriculum actually contains, but they are actively preventing their children from gaining essential information that is sorely needed in today’s ever-changing, easy-access age. You are actively harming your children and their future here. Within the internet age of easy access to pornography (never mind regular cable TV) and misinformation and the falling age of puberty itself, not to mention the incredibly worrying increase in sexual assault against young women and men, outdated curriculum sells all kids short and is, frankly, worryingly lacking in essentials.
Parents should be impressed with a programme looking to work with and proactively educate kids and should be looking at how they can work with the new curriculum to keep their kids well informed, safe and happy. Don’t be the ignorant, uniformed parent…and for the love of god, don’t be the laissez-faire parent either. Both of those do a huge injustice to your kids.
I’ve seen a lot of signs in protest that say “let kids be kids!” I’ve a shocking view for the people hoisting those signs: kids questioning and learning about sexuality and identity is healthy and natural at ANY age. If you think your kids aren’t talking and looking up everything about sex (and everything else) elsewhere the second they’re able/want to, you’re fooling yourself. Just because they’re not talking to you about it, doesn’t mean they’re not talking. Allowing the subjects to be taught and discussed in safe/educational environments instead of via texts and the internet just seems to be an obviously better idea.
And the fact that gender identity and inclusivity (in Grade 8) is even given time within the lessons is outstanding, not to mention that for the first time sexual consent is being actively discussed and taught. It’s about time. If you think that’s too young an age for kids to be questioning themselves, their identity and their sexuality, or even to be engaging in sex of any kind, you are quite frankly living under a rock.
Actively trying to take the stigma/taboo nature away from all of these things can only have positive results overall. Allowing children to be better informed, more open-minded, more confident and more comfortable with themselves and their identity can only lead to better things and to a better generation of Ontarians – one their parents should be proud of given they’ll be a hell of a lot better off than those same parents were where sex-ed is concerned.
To end on a lighter note, the superb Mean Girls (see above GIF of Amy Poehler as Regina George’s “hip” mom) is full of life lessons, not least of which is that anything other than informative sex-ed is laughably ridiculous. Right, Coach Carr?
Right. You go, Glenn Coco.