ASHRAY JANI, FRANCES TACARDON

May 13, 2015

The Editorial section of the Panther Press will reflect the intended nature of the editorial, which is an opinion piece that takes a position on certain topics. As always we are open to feedback and suggestions. If you would like to contact us, please email executiveeditor@pantherpress.ca or submit a comment at http://pantherpress.ca.

The feud between parents of elementary students and the updated sex-curriculum is truly firing up as many parents from the GTA have demonstrated their strong opposition. We have seen parents strike against the curriculum on numerous occasions, such as the demonstration held at Queens Park on February 4th, 2015. Many of these angered parents decided to pull out their kids from school to get their message across loud and clear. On May 4th, 2015, the TDSB confirmed that elementary school absences increased to 144% compared to a week earlier.

The claims from these parents against the curriculum seem to be based on the fact that it contradicts their traditional values – in most cases, derived from religion. Some argue that gender identity, sexual orientation, and masturbation, all concepts taught under the curriculum, should not be taught to young children as it goes against their respective values. On May 5th, 2015, Sam Sotiropoulos, former TDSB trustee for Ward 20, tweeted, “It’s clear the “new” #Ontario #sexed curriculum is designed to sexualize young children.” Many bigoted arguments as such dismiss how the curriculum could greatly benefit these children.

The Panther Press wants to put emphasis on the importance of the curriculum’s approach towards teaching kids in Grade 7 and above about consent, sexually contracted infections, and methods of preventing STIs or unintended pregnancies. The consequences of abstaining to teach kids about such concepts are harsh, and proof of this can be found within Crane High School located in western Texas. A chlamydia outbreak occurred within the small town school in which 20 out of 300 students tested positive for chlamydia. At the same time, the school teaches abstinence as opposed to educating its students about safe sex. The school’s 2014-2015 handbook states that the school must “present abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred choice of behavior in relationship to all sexual activity for unmarried persons of school age.” Obviously, there is a clear correlation between failing to teach the appropriate measures and the unfortunate outcome.

Your Editorial team at the Panther Press believes the sex-ed curriculum will create an accepting generation of people who are knowledgeable about their own bodies, relationships, and most especially sexual consent.  In terms of promoting acceptance, the curriculum will replace the words ‘husband and wife’ with ‘partner,’ as children should learn that not all relationships are heterosexual. Also, children in younger grades will learn about inappropriate touching, an important concept geared towards learning about sexual consent in the higher grades. The curriculum has no intention to ‘brainwash’ these children, as some parents may claim, but it has every right to educate children about important concepts applicable to reality.

Works Cited

Brown, Louise. “Thousands of Parents Keep Kids Home from School in Sex-ed Protest | Toronto Star.” Thestar.com. 4 May 2015. Web. 15 May 2015.

Crane Independent School District. Student Handbook (including Student Code of Conduct). 2014. PDF file.

“Texas Chlamydia Outbreak 2015: High School Wants To Change Sex-Ed Curriculum After STI ‘Epidemic'” International Business Times. 6 May 2015. Web. 13 May 2015.