Students gathered at Queen’s Park Saturday to protest the Tory government’s decision to revert to the 1998 sex-ed curriculum in Ontario schools.
The message of the protesters is simple – There is no turning back when it comes to sex education curriculum.
The rally was organized by students who say they weren’t even alive when the curriculum was first introduced.
We have heard from parents, teachers and politicians from past several weeks, but today it was students who rallied at Queen’s park. They said it was their fight as they were the ones directly impacted by what is and what is not being taught.
Twelfth grade student, Frank Hong is one of the organizers and says it is time that someone listens to them.
“I was born in 2001. Having a curriculum which is older than me is completely inappropriate and not acceptable,” Hong said.
Ten year old Sophie’s parents switched her from private to public because they wanted her to be a part of the new sex ed curriculum.
Sophie said, “It is very important for other kids, not just me to know that, a lot of people, things have happened to them because they do not know about this.”
“The 2015 curriculum was such a change from that instantly. I saw a change in my sister, I saw a change in my Dad’s students and it’s criminal that it’s being repealed,” lamented Rayne Fisher Quann.
Quann, also one of the protesters says that she has been taught both the old and the new curriculum and she saw a difference.
Another protester, Glen Canning, whose daughter committed suicide after she was bullied over photos taken during an alleged sexual assault, said, “No question at all that Ritea’s (daughter) life would have turned out a lot different has consent been taught at school…The reasoning behind the cancellation makes no sense to me whatsoever.”
Students, parents and the NDP leader says the fight will continue, both in Queen’s Park and in communities across the province, as the PC government says this is not so much about dismantling the new program, but more about consulting with parents.