Ontario will allow parents opposed to sex-ed curriculum to pull kids from class

WATCH:  What do students really ask in sex ed? (And how do you answer them?)

TORONTO – Ontario’s education minister says those parents who are still opposed to the province’s new sex-ed curriculum being taught in public schools this year can pull their kids from class.

Liz Sandals says each board has its own policies about withdrawing kids from certain classes, but she hopes parents first talk to teachers and principals about the curriculum because a lot of “misinformation” is still being circulated.

READ MORE: Can Ontario give its sex ed a 21st-Century makeover?

In the spring Sandals suggested Conservative groups were behind some of the opposition to the curriculum and today she says there are Conservative candidates campaigning in the federal election on sex-ed opposition.

Progressive Conservative MPP Monte McNaughton is still hammering the issue at the legislature, urging Premier Kathleen Wynne to shelve the curriculum and start over by consulting parents.

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WATCH: Dozens of parents protest new sex ed curriculum on first day of school

But Sandals says the curriculum was created in extensive consultation with 70 health organizations as well as parents and will be taught this school year.

READ MORE: What’s the evidence behind Ontario’s new sex ed curriculum?

For all the opposition, Sandals says she has heard far more support for the curriculum, as students need to understand the concept of consent, meaning no means no, and the dangers of sexting.

Meanwhile, contract talks continue today between the province and the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario. Its members won’t plan fundraising activities or field trips or attend open houses after school hours in the next step of a work-to-rule campaign that began in the spring.

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Negotiations also continue with Ontario’s Francophone teachers and support workers represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees. That union has said those workers will stage their own work-to-rule campaign until they get a new agreement.

READ MORE: Sex education compared across Canada

The previous school year ended with the possibility of all major teachers’ unions being on some form of strike this fall, but agreements were recently forged with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation and the Ontario’s English Catholic Teachers Association.

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