August 24, 2018 5:54 pm

Local teachers to continue supporting 2015 sex-ed curriculum: union president

The Ontario PC's plans to revert to the 1998 sexual education curriculum have met serious backlash from teachers and unions.

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The Ontario PC’s new rules around sexual education have been met with protests and suggestions from some school boards that they will continue to teach the newer curriculum.

“A snitch line is just such a negative and odd way to go,” said Andrea Loken, president of the Limestone District Ontario Secondary School Teacher’s Federation, “and does pit parents and students against teachers which isn’t constructive.”

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The Tories say they are trying to represent the voice of the entire province in the re-working of the sex-ed curriculum.

“Lisa Thompson our minister and Premier Doug Ford are committed to making sure that thousands of parents in all 124 ridings across the province have an opportunity to be a part of the process going forward,” said Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith.

READ MORE: Kingston-area teachers’ unions hold public forum to talk about sex-ed changes

Kingston and The Islands MPP Ian Arthur says it’s a poor use of resources that will do nothing but target teachers.

“I think it’s really unfortunate and it shows where this government’s priorities are if they are putting resources towards a new avenue for complaints,” Arthur said. “There are existing complaint mechanisms out there if parents have issues and they work very well.”

Local union representatives are afraid the new so-called snitch line could ruin the trust between teaching staff and at-risk youth.

“This kind of thing gives permission to bigots and people who hate people like that,” Loken said. “It gives them voice and permission and it emboldens them and that’s a really scary thing. There’s already enough bullying that we try to get under control.”

READ MORE: Limestone school board urging government to keep current sex-ed curriculum

Loken adds that the responsibility to discipline teachers falls to the local school boards, not the provincial government.

She says until they get more specific directions on what to enforce and how to go about it, they will continue to support the sex-ed curriculum brought in by the former liberal government in 2015.

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