Young dancers in Kingston have gotten creative to make a political statement against the recent change in Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum.
About 15 dancers from the 5-6-7-8 Dance Studio in Kingston protested the change to the sexual-education curriculum made by Premier Doug Ford‘s PC government. His government has decided to revert back to the 1998 curriculum back while the government to rework the curriculum that was modernized by the Liberal government in 2015.
Several dancers from ages 8 to 17 got together this past weekend to dance in a video protesting the decision.
Bianca Campbell, 17, was one of three teens to organize the dance, which was filmed in Springer Market Square behind City Hall on Oct. 28. She says she was inspired to say something through her craft to protest the change in the sex-ed curriculum.
Campbell said that after students staged a walkout in September to protest the changes, one of many that were happening across Ontario, she did some research and realized she had something to say.
“Dancers rarely get the opportunity to express something more meaningful. … We rarely get to convey something we’re passionate about.”
GALLERY: Students and teachers react to changes in sex-ed curriculum
In the video, the dancers dressed all in white, sometimes moved in unison, and other times stood still, quietly holding signs that expressed facts about the change in the sex-ed curriculum.
“There is now no mention of online safety, consent or LGBTQ issues,” read one of the signs.
Another dancer and organizer of the protest video, Jo Monea, said the messages emphasize the lack of education on important issues in the interim sex-ed curriculum.
“It’s important to educate people about consent, LGBTQ, plus issues, online safety,” Monea said. “All of these things that apply to our world today and the things that they were teaching in 1998 may not all apply to the youth today, so we need updated information for the next generation.”
Alexandra McChesney also took part in the video. The Grade 10 student hopes people will watch when it comes out online.
“It’s entertainment and I feel that kids especially my age, we want to watch music videos, we want to be entertained all the time and it’s something new instead of just having the same words repeated over and over again. So I think that will hit new audiences.”
Organizers hope to have the protest video online by Nov. 3.
—With files from Alexandra Mazur