Ontario heads backward to old sex-ed curriculum
TORONTO — In elementary schools across Ontario this month, the first day of school was filled with the usual mix of nervousness and excitement. But many teachers had jitters themselves thanks to an announcement from the new provincial government.
In July, the center-right government of Premier Doug Ford said it was scrapping the sex-education curriculum updated in 2015 and replacing it with a version from 1998, when samesex marriage was not yet legal in Canada and social media and cyberbullying were unknown to most parents. It also set up what critics are calling a “snitch line” that allows parents to anonymously report teachers for not teaching the old version.
The decision, which fulfilled one of Ford’s campaign promises, was the latest in a series of changes made since he was sworn in in late June. He has quashed the province’s carbon-pricing policy, and scrapped a basic-income pilot project.
Like many of those decisions, the sex-education switch has left officials scrambling, spawned a barrage of legal challenges and provoked public backlash.