Women’s March Canada is deeply disappointed with the announcement by the Minister of Education, Lisa Thompson, to roll back Ontario’s modernized sexual health education curriculum ahead of the upcoming school year. Ontario’s children and youth deserve access to health and physical education information that ensures their safety and aligns with the realities of our rapidly changing world.
To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
The revised 2015 health curriculum has been extensively researched and is the most progressive and up-to-date in Ontario’s history. There is no other curriculum in the province that has benefited from nearly a decade of input from both experts in the field and thousands of parents.
The repeal of the current Ontario curriculum for Grades 1-8 in Health and Physical Education, 2015 (Revised) means:
- Ontario students will no longer be taught the concept of ‘consent.’ The word consent appears ZERO times in the 1998 health curriculum. Given the rate of sexual violence against women in Ontario, this is completely unacceptable.
- There will be zero discussion on gender identity or same-sex relationships.
- Students will not learn about issues around gender-based violence, sexual harassment, homophobia, the social impacts of puberty, sexting, cyberbullying or protecting yourself from online predators. There have been 78 women and girls killed in Canada so far this year and most of them were in Ontario.
The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Health and Physical Education, 2015 (revised)
We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:
- Immediately reinstate the revised 2015 health curriculum;
- Provide a clear and transparent plan for additional consultations including a timeline for consultations;
- Provide a clear and transparent plan for how the initial consultations will be incorporated into any revisions proposed by the Ford Government;
- If a new curriculum document is to be made and presented, please indicate where and how it will address the following topics included in the 2015 revision: consent; sexting; cyberbullying; LGBTQ2S; body parts; and other information to help young people advocate for their own health and safety.