Sex-ed controversy exposes how different religions, cultures fit into Ontario’s mainstream: Cohn

One of the better pieces of commentary on the opposition to Ontario’s sex-ed updating:

Should a minority movement be able to impose its own viewpoint — and veto — on the majority? Thousands of protesting parents withdrew their children from all classes earlier this month to protest future sex education classes, but let’s be clear on what they are demanding — and what they aren’t.
They are not merely trying to keep their kids out of sex-ed classes. They already have the right — rightly or wrongly — to deprive their children of a curriculum that teaches them how to protect themselves from sexual infections.
Anyone can claim an exemption currently. No, what these parents are fighting for is a veto on all other children benefiting from updated sex-ed classes that the protesters might disagree with — even if the majority of Ontarians support a modernized curriculum.
Consider this analogy: In some GTA schools, parents regularly withdraw their children from dance and music classes they deem to be in conflict with their faith. What if those parents demanded that all music and dance classes be banned in our schools?
An absurd notion — it would never happen — yet the latest wave of protests against sex-ed has taken on that character: Not only shall the protesters’ children not be exposed to updated sex-ed classes, neither should anyone else’s.

No matter that the 240-pages of turgid material does not provide masturbation lessons in Grade 6 (it merely offers basic teacher prompts in case kids raise the subject), or that it does not extol anal sex but rather alerts students to the risks. Never mind that the curriculum was assembled after consultations with hundreds of pedagogical experts (and thousands of parents from school councils), and that it mirrors similar updates in places like Alberta.

Sex-ed controversy exposes how different religions, cultures fit into Ontario’s mainstream: Cohn

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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