Sep 02, 2015
By Jane Brown
The director of Ontario’s second largest school board says parents can remove their kids from sex-ed classes for religious reasons, but any requests for students to opt out of learning about gay families or diverse gender identities won’t be tolerated.
Tony Pontes of the Peel District School Board is making his hard line comments ahead of today’s planned anti-sex-ed rallies outside the offices of Liberal MPPs across the province. Pontes says he plans to tell teachers and superintendents today about the Peel board’s tough stance, saying if parents have a problem with such strong support for equity and inclusion, the public system may not be right for them.
He says while some parents do have “genuine concerns” that the board will work to address, critics of the updated sex-ed curriculum have used it to raise fear, generate untruths and build constituencies of protest based on false information.
“I find that unconscionable,” he states.
Since the new curriculum was announced, opponents, made up mainly of different faith groups, have tried to derail it. They’ve labelled it as age inappropriate, radical and even immoral, arguing parents should be the ones providing such information and at a time when they feel their children are ready.
The health curriculum had last been updated in 1998. Until now, Ontario has been teaching students with the most outdated information of any province in the country. The updated version was first introduced in 2010, but then abandoned by former premier Dalton McGuinty because of the outcry from a vocal minority.
Tony Pontes will be the first guest on Zoomer Radio’s Goldhawk Fights Back after the 11am news when he will take your calls at 416-360-0740 or 1-866-740-4740.