TORONTO – Premier Kathleen Wynne says Ontario students should start learning how to read facial expressions and emotions as early as Grade 1 to give help them understand consent in sexual relations.
Wynne says under the updated sex ed curriculum due this fall, kids in Grades 1 to 6 will learn listening skills and how to tell if friends are happy or sad by paying attention to their expressions and body language.
She says children should be given the building blocks for that kind of “interpersonal ability and intelligence” at a very early stage.
Lia Valente, one of two Toronto Grade 8 girls who met Wynne yesterday, says the concept of consent and healthy relationships must be built into the updated sex education curriculum.
Valente says the curriculum must teach kids how to understand body language, facial expressions and how the lack of ‘No’ isn’t necessarily a ‘Yes.’
Fellow student Tessa Hill says schools must teach a “consent culture” so kids can learn about asking for permission when they are ready to have sex.
Wynne says she heard from college and university students during a recent tour that young people want input on any school policy and curriculum changes involving the teaching of consent.