Changes to sex ed curriculum in Ontario called "long overdue."
February 24, 2015 6:08 AM   Subscribe

 
Martin Regg Cohn argues that the PCs have, generally, moved on and the antis are fighting a losing battle. It's good to hear.

And, in the biggest stopped clock of the year, Wente comes out pretty strongly in favour of the curriculum!
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:16 AM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm having a really hard time figuring out what the conservatives are objecting to. The "conservative groups" link goes on a lot about teaching about "gender identity," so is it that the curriculum will acknowledge that some people are trans? Honestly, the stuff I've read, like teaching young children about consent and about the dangers of sending explicit pictures over the internet, seem pretty non-controversial to me!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:20 AM on February 24, 2015


[gentle humor] It's never too early to teach children to wear hats. (P85)
posted by alasdair at 6:29 AM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


The last time there was a proposed curriculum change what the Catholic Bishop (I believe Ontario Catholic schools are required to use the same curriculum) objected to was mentioning masturbation in any context other than "don't." and acknowledging that gay people in any context other than "ok, want whatever you want, but don't do anything." Also they made a big stink about how the curriculum starts with 4 year olds and how it covers things like oral sex, and deliberately conflated the two to freak people out "The curriculum will be teaching 4 year olds and covers oral sex!!!"

I do find it a little odd that they're not supposed to mention gay people until grade 3. How does that work? I mean there's a decent probability that a kid in the class will have a gay parent or relative, right? That's not allowed to come up in class? And even at the earliest stages any time they're talking about any kind of couple-ed behaviour, I would think it would make sense to say "Most people like people who are not the same sex as them, but some people like people who are the same sex, and some people like both."
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:30 AM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wait, they don't talk about puberty until grade 6? A little late for lots of kids, no?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:33 AM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


The main conservative quoted in the conservatives group link is Charles McVety. Here's a good tl;dr on the guy.

During the last go around with the health curriculum, I saw no less than two or three interviews where he bellowed the phrase "vaginal lubrication" several times. Yes, Charles, vaginas lubricate themselves. Why does that scare you, buddy?

The thing about the "outrage" about this is that the whole curriculum is actually an overall health curriculum. Sex ed is just one component of it.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:33 AM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Heck, I'm turning 31 this year, and I started going through puberty as late as third grade, so the age of 8. Chances are that it was starting a little earlier than that even. I learned about the birds and the bees, so to speak from a mixture of anatomical textbooks I found in the school library (with fun plastic overlays of the body) and Beavis and Butthead. This was all pre-internet, but I put it together well enough that when I was explaining the mechanics of it to a friend in second grade and his father walked by and heard us, he decided that I was doing a good enough job that he just walked on by and let me keep going.

By the time I hit fifth grade, I was definitely starting to have sexual urges, though I didn't necessarily understand them at the time nor were they obvious. By sixth grade, I should have been shaving (oy that horrible peachfuzz), but my poor mother wasn't quite ready. I was probably an early bloomer, but by the time we started getting the sex talk in school (a liberal county public school) in fourth grade, or from my parents around the same time, it was kind of too late.

Given that the internet really exists, that information is widespread, and that what is acceptable and proper discourse has changed, this just makes sense.
posted by X-Himy at 7:11 AM on February 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


I agree that grade three is really late for same sex relationship to finally appear. I'm in a public library and do a storytime with two and three year olds and always read picture books like King and King and the penguin one (can't remember the name...). I also have genderqueer staff that do the preschool storytime specifically to normalise for the children (and parents) that this is just the way people are. We haven't gotten any pushback. (I also do storytimes on poop and farting, like, it is all good, everybody poops). I think the "outrage" is mostly manufactured and the majority of people, especially parents, really don't care (and I say this as a parent with my children in Catholic school).
posted by saucysault at 7:12 AM on February 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


I do find it a little odd that they're not supposed to mention gay people until grade 3. How does that work? I mean there's a decent probability that a kid in the class will have a gay parent or relative, right? That's not allowed to come up in class?

In my sex-ed class in rural Ontario a couple of decades ago (i.e. before the last revision of the curriculum in 1998) the subject of homosexuality didn't come up until grade 8 and even then, the teacher said:

"I'm legally required to tell you that some men are attracted to men and some women are attracted to women and that that's okay. So there, it's 'okay.' But it's against both nature and god. The anus is meant as an exit only, and trying to use it as an entrance is an unhealthy abomination and that's why gay people die of AIDS."

At this time, I knew two gay couples who were friends of my parents and I knew that they were gay. But my parents were far left hippies originally from Toronto, so that was something of an exception. And even my parents never outright told me that they were gay, just that they liked each other so much they decided to live together.

I remember in my last year of high school, one of my friends came across the statistic that 9% of people are gay (which, of course, is not true; it turns out to be more like 4-5%, at least in Canada). He was flabbergasted.

"If that's possible," he said, "how come I've never met anyone gay?"

"Oh, you've met lots of gay people," I told him, "just none suicidal enough to be publicly out in this town."

I don't know how much attitudes have changed out in rural Ontario, but I guarantee you they are still far behind what you get at liberal arts schools in downtown Toronto. For a great many kids, introducing them to the idea in grade 3 that gay people exist and that homosexuality is banal and normal will be a huge boon.
posted by 256 at 7:13 AM on February 24, 2015 [17 favorites]


"and the penguin one (can't remember the name...)."

AND TANGO MAKES THREE.

(like I ever forget the name of adorable penguin books.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:14 AM on February 24, 2015 [8 favorites]


At the age of thirteen, I was happily bisexual. Since no one talked about sex in those days, I assumed that I was like everyone else. OF COURSE girls are cute! OF COURSE boys are cute! We are all human and naturally we are attracted to each other!

At the age of fifteen, the Catholic Church explained to me that I was sinful and an abomination before God. Which was kind of a big load to dump on a fifteen-year-old.

I think anything that lowers the fear of sexuality in young kids is a good thing. I wasted a third of my life fretting over "am I normal or not"? Yeah, kid, you were normal. Gimme a hug.
posted by SPrintF at 7:28 AM on February 24, 2015 [23 favorites]


I had some really confusing thoughts and feelings even before puberty. I'm always surprised to find out other people apparently didn't and think they were better off for being ignorant about their own bodies. I just can't understand it. I kind of feel like either my situation was just weird or maybe people feel like shame about this sort of thing is just natural. It's never struck me as natural. Just teach the kids about their bodies.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:30 AM on February 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Martin Regg Cohn argues that the PCs have, generally, moved on and the antis are fighting a losing battle. It's good to hear.

All three of the major contenders for the Ontario PC leadership - including the "moderate" Christine Elliott - have come out against the new sex ed curriculum. You can't win elections as a Tory without the base, and the base hates sex ed.
posted by mightygodking at 7:31 AM on February 24, 2015


The furor seems to have died down a bit now (or maybe that's just the bubble I live in), but when this was first announced I stumbled across a comment thread about it on Facebook that was full of spittle-flecked "THEY'RE GOING TO TEACH KIDS IN GRADE 2 HOW TO GIVE BLOWJOBS!!!"-style woo. I guess they want kids to learn about this stuff the same way they did; on the playground, in hockey dressing rooms and/or not at all.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:34 AM on February 24, 2015


A lot of the pushback I hear about is the teaching consent stuff. "But that's too young to teach that sort of thing!"

No, it really isn't.
posted by Kitteh at 7:37 AM on February 24, 2015 [12 favorites]


Yeah, consent is pretty much the first thing I would teach. Not just because it's central to healthy adult relationships, but it's an unfortunate fact of life that kids need to learn that anybody trying to force them to do something is wrong and they need to tell someone about it.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:52 AM on February 24, 2015 [11 favorites]


I'm having a really hard time figuring out what the conservatives are objecting to.

Children are supposed to be pure and virginal. The new curriculum starts at 6 years old/grade 1. Children are "exposed to sexuality" much earlier than some of the huffers deem proper. Much is made of ages of consent.

The new curriculum goes well beyond the idea of sex-norms. It explicity requires teaching or "gender identity (e.g., male, female, two-spirited, transgender, transsexual, intersex), gender expression, and sexual orientation (e.g., heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual)". The idea that people don't fit into neat boxes, as is clearly God's plan, is upsetting to some. Last time around, the homophobia was pretty blatant from some of the religious groups.

It's also quite frank about sex acts. Anal intercourse (mostly how to be safe while doing so) will be part of health class too. This is much more than the man/woman hole-in-the-sheet relations necessary for procreation. Upper grades, of course, but still not het PIV.

There's also a huge amount about appropriate use of technology and sexual expression (e.g. sexting), harassment awareness (including child abuse awareness), and what consent means, but that's being swept under the rug. Interestingly, they already have the buy in of the Catholic board, so that's a whole community on the sidelines this time.
posted by bonehead at 7:55 AM on February 24, 2015


Liz Sandals says next thing you know you'll want to opt out of teaching evolution. Tory MP Rick Nicholls: "That's not a bad idea."

These fucking people. Stuff like this is why the Liberals still managed to win the last election despite being stale, incompetent and wasteful as shit.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:56 AM on February 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


By consent, do they just mean the idea that everyone gets to decide what they do with their own body, and nobody has a right to make anyone else do things that they don't feel comfortable doing, except in some very specific instances in which certain grownups can make kids do things to keep them healthy and safe? Because that just seems like basic stuff that everyone should teach every kid from the day they're born.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:57 AM on February 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


What harassment is and what a kid can do about it, how to be respectful of others, how to ask and give consent seem to be central to this new curriculum. This is way, way beyond the standard embarrassing anatomy lessons we got. Heck, we didn't even get told what child abuse was, how to identify it, that it wasn't ok and who to tell about it. The 6 to 12 age groups focus much more on those issues than actual sex instruction, it appears.
posted by bonehead at 8:01 AM on February 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


Aside from teaching about consent, the one thing I am really really pleased to see is teaching about how to navigate being a kid in an increasingly online world. I see folks are balking at that, but then when you give a kid their own iPhone or iPad or similar before age 10, I absolutely think there should be sex education about things they might encounter. Yes, parents counter with that they monitor their kids' actions on those devices, but as probably most of us can attest from having been kids, kids can usually find their ways around rules and restrictions.
posted by Kitteh at 8:05 AM on February 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


I started going through puberty as late as third grade, so the age of 8.

Me too. I felt a lot of shame and distress about it. Turning back the clock on when we learned about puberty and sexuality in sex ed wouldn't have solved everything, but it would have been a start. I did get a book from my mom but I think the messages coming from everywhere else that sex and sexuality were Bad Things Do Not Talk About Them were coming in a lot stronger from every other angle.

Yeah, consent is pretty much the first thing I would teach. Not just because it's central to healthy adult relationships, but it's an unfortunate fact of life that kids need to learn that anybody trying to force them to do something is wrong and they need to tell someone about it.

Yep, and even more importantly, it's a fact of life that kids need to learn that they can't force other people to do things. The cultural programming that teaches people that pressuring others into doing what you want is okay starts way before it starts having anything to do with sexual consent.
posted by capricorn at 8:09 AM on February 24, 2015 [9 favorites]


Stuff like this is why the Liberals still managed to win

That, and Andrea Horwath.
posted by bonehead at 8:12 AM on February 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


Yeah...it was almost like the other two parties *wanted* to lose.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:17 AM on February 24, 2015


I'm just sad about how low the bar is set for sex education. Merely knowledgeable and competent is just not an aspirational goal.

Where is the attempt to move up the OECD league table?

I want Canadian kids to grow up to outfuck the entire world in both quantity and quality.

We can do this! It's not like there is much else to do in the winter.
posted by srboisvert at 8:25 AM on February 24, 2015 [8 favorites]


You can't win elections as a Tory without the base, and the base hates sex ed.

As unacceptable as homophobia has become (in general, in the province, and FWIW I grew up way outside of Toronto, and my husband is from an isolated town in the far north of Ontario, so not positing some sort of homo-friendly utopia everywhere), this is still a useful dog whistle to their base, IMHO.

It's just another formulation of the "they're coming for your children!" rhetoric. Let's not forget that Jim Flaherty, Christine Elliot's late husband and a former provincial and federal cabinet minister, was a homophobic asshole. Plus ça change.

We can do this! It's not like there is much else to do in the winter.

*Shudder* Every time the topic of me, my brother, my husband and my SIL having birthdays in October comes up, my dad makes this joke.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:28 AM on February 24, 2015


I did get a book from my mom

I had the original version of that book! It was excellent.

Maybe I was lucky... my parents were super-frank about sex (one of the few things they ever agreed on), and sex ed started in grade 5. (Grade 4 for girls). Abuse wasn't exactly frankly discussed, but there was a pretty clear line drawn between "good touch" and "bad touch" and how if anyone ever touched you in certain ways--even if they were a doctor and allowed to touch you in some places--that made you uncomfortable, find another adult and tell them. I'm heartened that under the new curriculum it seems that "bad touch" isn't just sexual. The importance of consent goes far beyond sex and into the playground--Rajiv doesn't want to be hugged; Sarah doesn't like it when you push her.

I actually wonder whether my school's sex ed timing was due to us having a swimming pool. When you're all getting naked in front of each other every day, questions are going to be asked about the couple of us who were early bloomers--in the same grade we started sex ed. So that worked out well.

I for one applaud Wynne and the Liberals for doing what the craven McGuinty wouldn't.

Every time the topic of me, my brother, my husband and my SIL having birthdays in October comes up, my dad makes this joke.

So... October is Party Month in your family?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:40 AM on February 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


So... October is Party Month in your family?

No, that happens in February, apparently.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:53 AM on February 24, 2015 [8 favorites]


I was thinking four birthdays, Gay Christmas, and Thanksgiving all in one go...
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:58 AM on February 24, 2015


Gay Christmas is in October? Have you guys been holding out on us cluess hets or what?

Hopefully the new curriculum will include celebration of these important events, gay Christmas, bisex Beltane, and so on.
posted by bonehead at 9:01 AM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


How Girls Are Developing Earlier In An Age Of 'New Puberty' - "Two doctors wrote a book that probes the environmental, biological and socioeconomic factors contributing to early puberty. These girls face risks like anxiety and depression, one author says."
posted by kliuless at 9:06 AM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've got a relative whose birthday is in early October. She *hates* it when I make jokes about how she may be the product of my aunt and uncle "ringing in the new year."
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:08 AM on February 24, 2015


I was a month premature and born 8 months to the day after my father's birthday.

Hallowe'en = Gay Christmas
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:09 AM on February 24, 2015


Gay Christmas is in October? Have you guys been holding out on us cluess hets or what?

Nope. It's yours now:

Conservative student: "Straight people don't flaunt our sexuality like that. We don't have straight 'pride' parades."

Me: "You should."

And it seems clearer with every passing Halloween that straight people do.

[...]

You made a good choice, straight people, a better one than the booze companies were trying to make for you. Whereas the pride parade is now the big public celebration of queer sexuality with all its squalor and glamour, Halloween is now the big public celebration of straight sexuality, of heterosexual desire, every bit—tit?—as squalid and glamorous.

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:17 AM on February 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't know how much attitudes have changed out in rural Ontario, but I guarantee you they are still far behind what you get at liberal arts schools in downtown Toronto. For a great many kids, introducing them to the idea in grade 3 that gay people exist and that homosexuality is banal and normal will be a huge boon.

My partner grew up in rural Ontario and once told me that when they were part of a queer support group for teenagers, they had to have people call in and set up a meeting with the coordinator and be vetted before new members were told when and where the group met. Because if it was openly announced, there was real worry that people would show up and harrass or attack the teenagers. This would have been in.... let's see, circa 2006 or so was when they graduated high school. So, y'know, it doesn't always get better that fast.

And me, I didn't know that gay and lesbian people even existed until I was twelve or thirteen--I distinctly remember an incident when I was eleven when a girl called me a lesbian and I had no idea what it was but I knew it was an insult, so I shouted at her and got detention over it. I think I found out about that from either the internet or possibly a Mercedes Lackey novel. Pretty much everything else I know, I picked up on my own. And I was not in a rural school district, I was in urban areas, albeit urban areas in Kansas and Georgia.

On topic: this sounds so amazing to me that it seems a little unreal. For what it's worth, I learned some basic biology about fertility and some basic anatomy (of course, no female anatomy), plus a list of STIs in high school. I was allowed to 'compact' Health, which was the only place sex ed would have come up, so I basically read a chapter of a textbook, took a quiz, and then moved on to the next chapter and got credit for the course that way. I never even saw a condom in person before I got to college and wasn't even quite sure what they looked like until some time into my freshman year. Looking at a real curriculum like this is like a window into an entirely different planet.
posted by sciatrix at 9:54 AM on February 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


A lot of the pushback I hear about is the teaching consent stuff. "But that's too young to teach that sort of thing!"

No, it really isn't.


The Moment I Realised I’d Never Had Consensual Sex: "It’s 2004, and I – a rebellious, angst-y 7th grader – am lying in my older brother’s room with two of his closest friends, one of whom apparently had the hots for me." (Note: Assault, interrupted.)
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:57 AM on February 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Many pictures of the (inadvertently hilarious) protester signs can be found in the #ONSexEd hashtag on twitter.
posted by Theta States at 10:02 AM on February 24, 2015


Which end is up?
posted by fairmettle at 10:13 AM on February 24, 2015


I never even saw a condom in person before I got to college and wasn't even quite sure what they looked like until some time into my freshman year.

Huh. Grade 9 sex ed we learned all about condoms, including putting them onto a wooden dildoish thing. Would have been 1992? 3?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:26 AM on February 24, 2015


My niece is two, and I'm already trying to teach her about consent. Mostly I do this when she is tickling me, and I say "I'm going to tickle you!" and she says no. I say "Okay, I won't tickle you because you don't want me to." Consent and bodily autonomy are things that very young children can understand and don't have to be about whether someone is putting their penis in someone else's vagina.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:29 AM on February 24, 2015 [15 favorites]


It would have been so nice to have had any of my teachers ever talk about LGBT issues any of the six times I had sex ed.
posted by bile and syntax at 10:33 AM on February 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


For sure. LGBT issues were covered cursorily, if at all, lest anyone think I'm talking about some sexual education utopia in the 90s.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:52 AM on February 24, 2015


CBC had the health minister on the radio this afternoon and I was able to hear some of the callers while we picked our daughter from daycare and I got dropped off at work. The 4-5 callers I heard were all male. The first guy was pretty much "I am a Catholic, and all of this is sin and shouldn't be taught to my kids at all except for telling them it is wrong, and I have said the same thing to my kids' principal." One talked about his "innocent 6 year old son" and how he didn't want that innocence tainted. The next few guys were better, one was a high school teacher talking about the lack of knowledge some of his students have, and one was a Catholic who had gone to Catholic school and outlined how in the absence of actual education he picked stuff up from the playground, but I only got snippets because by then we had picked up our daughter and she was telling us about her day.

It did seem that the anti people were going more on their general feelings/opinions whereas the pro people were highlighting their own examples/situations where having better knowledge would have been helpful.

It was fun to hear the minister's replies as she was very good at explaining the curriculum and rationale behind it, but I totally wanted her to have a Gordon Brown "get a load of this bigot" moment because that's what I would have done (one of many reasons why I'm not the health minister I suppose). It would have been better if McGuinty could've shown some principle and not scrapped the curriculum when it was first introduced because having this happen on Wynne's watch makes it way too easy for the gay agenda people.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 10:58 AM on February 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Nice to see that the Ontario Liberals are actually back in the public service part of governing again. And I have to give credit to Wynne for responding to some Tory nonsense with properly bridled outrage.
Progressive Conservative Monte McNaughton is openly critical of the updated curriculum and says it's not the job of the premier — "especially Kathleen Wynne" — to tell parents what is age appropriate for their children.
From a Hansard preliminary transcript:
“What is it that especially disqualifies me for the job that I’m doing? Is it that I’m a woman? Is it that I’m a mother? Is it that I have a master’s of education? Is it that I was a school council char? Is it that I was the minister of education? What is it exactly that the member opposition thinks disqualifies me from doing the job that I’m doing? What is that?”
posted by maudlin at 11:07 AM on February 24, 2015 [18 favorites]


Yeah, it was very telling about the male callers and their reactions. I was eating lunch and mumbling retorts at the table whilst listening.
posted by Kitteh at 11:08 AM on February 24, 2015


I don't know of any studies or anything but it seems to me that this sort of education could literally save lives. Educating children on LGBT issues at a younger age would help to normalize things, and perhaps bring down suicide rates of LGBT youth. Of course, it's just this sort of normalizing effect that has some people all wound up.
posted by cell divide at 11:13 AM on February 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


“What is it that especially disqualifies me for the job that I’m doing? Is it that I’m a woman? Is it that I’m a mother? Is it that I have a master’s of education? Is it that I was a school council char? Is it that I was the minister of education? What is it exactly that the member opposition thinks disqualifies me from doing the job that I’m doing? What is that?”
I am eagerly awaiting the day she jumps to federal politics and gains the PMO.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:14 AM on February 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Huh. Grade 9 sex ed we learned all about condoms, including putting them onto a wooden dildoish thing. Would have been 1992? 3?

Yeah, like I said I can't speak to the kids who actually took health in high school as a class instead of doing the Compacted thing I did, but I did take other health courses in middle school as a class and they never brought in any kind of demonstration of condoms or other safe sex devices or anything like that. I do vaguely remember failure rates coming up for a number of things but we never actually saw anything, or even had it explained how condoms and diaphragms and things like that worked. Mostly everything was lists of methods or STDs. I was a freshman in high school in fall 2004, so this would have only been about ten years later.

On the upside, no one pulled the kind of slut-shaming "take this bit of sticky tape, touch it to everyone in the room, and then note how it's SUDDENLY NOT STICKY ANY MORE? PROMISCUOUS SEX DESTROYS YOUR ABILITY TO MARRY" bullshit with me that other people I know who are my age got. It's kind of fascinating to me to listen to the different experiences older people had with sex ed.
posted by sciatrix at 11:18 AM on February 24, 2015




I think this is a great step for teaching the little ones healthy and respectful information about their bodies and how to establish boundaries. I've always wondered about those kids that go through puberty so early.

Fun fact: I went to an all-girls' school, so although we did a bit of sex education type stuff from the age of 13, the 'big talk' day was in Year 11, when we were 15-16. To gather together 100-odd girls of that age and tactfully tell them about 'becoming a woman' is laughably late. I wonder how many girls of my cohort hadn't started menstruating by Year 11.

We certainly didn't have a lot of discussion about healthy relationships, consent and anything but hetero sex, by the way, and I left school in 2004.
posted by averysmallcat at 11:37 AM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Kitteh, did anyone who wasn't a cis-male call in?

fffm, while I wouldn't mind Wynne as PM at all, if that means another term of Harper as PM I think I'll pass.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:43 AM on February 24, 2015


Oh no, it'll be Trudeau this time round. And when she's ready, it'll be another coup in the party, she'll take over, and Canada might get back on the right track again.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:50 AM on February 24, 2015


tuff like this is why the Liberals still managed to win

That, and Andrea Horwath.


While the idiotic protest was going on outside the legislature, a twit Tory MPP tried to bait Premier Wynne (who, by the way, is a lesbian) on the curriculum. Her response:
Hon. Kathleen Wynne: You know, that was a pretty broad-ranging question. Let me just quote back to the member something that he said yesterday. He said, "It's not the Premier of Ontario's job, especially Kathleen Wynne, to tell parents what's age-appropriate for their children." Mr. Speaker, let me just ask the member opposite: What is it that "especially" disqualifies me for the job that I'm doing? Is it that I'm a woman? Is it that I'm a mother? Is it that I have a master's of education? Is it that I was a school council chair? Is it that I was the Minister of Education? What is it exactly that the member opposite thinks disqualifies me from doing the job that I'm doing? What is that?
Give some of the credit for the Liberal's continued presence in power to the fact that their leader is awesome.
posted by dry white toast at 11:51 AM on February 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Kitteh, did anyone who wasn't a cis-male call in?

I don't think so?
posted by Kitteh at 12:03 PM on February 24, 2015


Give some of the credit for the Liberal's continued presence in power to the fact that their leader is awesome.

I was working away this afternoon and heard that quote from her on the radio and was all like "Fuck yeah! More of that please!"

She's a lot more leader than that party deserves, quite frankly.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:05 PM on February 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


As a friend on Facebook said today:

""It's not the job of the premier to revise the sex ed curriculum - especially Kathleen Wynne."

That's not so much a culture war dog-whistle as it is a cultural foghorn."
posted by lookoutbelow at 12:11 PM on February 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


Huh. This photo from outside Queen's Park today.

I mean, my math marks in high school were awful, so that English-language sign maybe has a point...

But that French sign in the tweeted photo says "Stop sex education in elementary school."

I mean, fucking really?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:13 PM on February 24, 2015


You know, in general I really dislike it that majority governments can just push through whatever they want and if the whole world is against them they don't even have to care (see: long form census, experimental lakes area). But in this case I'm thinking "Just hold the vote today so we can stop hearing about this."

I'm a hypocrite. These are not my real values. I believe in democratic debate...just y'know, not with people who can't be bothered to inform themselves and object on moral grounds to learning anything.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 12:20 PM on February 24, 2015


MC: I think the English language sign only has a point if your math marks were awful because you spent all your time masturbating. I mean, I won't ask, but I'm guessing that at the very least there was more to it than that.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 12:21 PM on February 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


I know, I know. I was kidding. Sorta.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:24 PM on February 24, 2015


Grade 9 sex ed we learned all about condoms ... Would have been 1992?

A decade earlier all we had were some anatomical charts (as de-sexed and clinical as possible), a film about funny feelings, and urges and how we should discuss those with our parents. And the one very new, very pregnant gym teacher who gave us a starry hour on how "love is more than a feeling" (which was, in retrospect, very sweet). Aside from that one bit of honest emotion, it was as dry and rushed as possible, while minimally conformant to what little there was in our lesson requirements. It was universally anticipated, but only because it meant not having to change for gym class for a week.
posted by bonehead at 12:36 PM on February 24, 2015


My sex ed, started in grade 4. This was in the early 80s in BC. It was OMG WE'RE IN GRADE 4 NOW, THE SEX STUFF GETS TO HAPPEN!

The first time was an evening (I think) event with parents. Both parents were encouraged to attend if possible. So if you can a imagine a 100 or so, excited and nervous grade 4 kids, with both moms and dads, sitting on those elementary school style plastic chairs, watching an animated movie that explained anatomy, puberty and how babies were made you have my intro to the wonderful world of sex.

My sister who still lives in BC says the program starts in kindergarten or at least it did at my nephews school. She said it was really age appropriate, lots of body part naming and a real basic explanation of the baby process which she says my nephew and friends had little interest in. Can't remember if consent was talked about but I wouldn't be surprised if it was. Not sure about same-sex either though at that age my nephew and according to my sister most of his peers were well aware of same gender couples and marriage so the idea of the sex part of such relationships is no bigger or smaller deal then different gender relationships.

Kids now are growing up with same-sex marriage as something normal and lawful so for them not to talk about it at younger ages seems silly and quite misguided to me.
posted by Jalliah at 1:09 PM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


You may not be surprised to learn that this McNaughton twerp is Rob Ford's preferred PC leadership candidate.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:20 PM on February 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


My sex ed, started in grade 4. This was in the early 80s in BC.

I also started sex-ed in BC in grade four! Though it was the early 90s. I still remember the name of the public health nurse that came to speak to us. (just googled her and found she's now a published author on how to talk to kids about sex).

I heard one protested on the CBC today say "Would you rather schools teach your kids about sex, or your church, mosque, or temple?". He didn't even address the particular curriculum changes, he seemed to be against sex-ed in schools in general. There is a lot of mis-placed fear- Learning about sex, genitals, condoms, STIs (STDs in those days) in no way interfered with me internalizing evangelical Christian ideas about sex that I subsequently learned at church and youth camps
posted by beau jackson at 3:02 PM on February 24, 2015


My 9th grade (North Carolina circa 1982) Health Class Sex Ed teacher, whose daughter was in my class, pronounced "fellatio" (a form of homosexual sex) to rhyme with "patio" rather than "Horatio".

My kids heard things in the Unitarian Universalist Church-hosted "Our Whole Lives" course at least three or four years before they were brought up in their Florida Public School sex-ed courses. Really, really basic plumbing-type stuff.
posted by Cookiebastard at 3:24 PM on February 24, 2015


If I could favorite your post a thousand times, SPrintF, I would.


My 9th grade (North Carolina circa 1982) Health Class Sex Ed teacher, whose daughter was in my class, pronounced "fellatio" (a form of homosexual sex) to rhyme with "patio" rather than "Horatio".


Fellatio doesn't have to be same-sex. On the other hand I now have the name Fellatio Hornblower in my head.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:22 PM on February 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


That was how the teacher explained fe-latt-io. A form of homosexual sex.
posted by Cookiebastard at 7:49 PM on February 24, 2015


The fellatio is where one has post-brunch sex.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:00 PM on February 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


Liz Sandals says next thing you know you'll want to opt out of teaching evolution. Tory MP Rick Nicholls: "That's not a bad idea."

More on that.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:24 PM on February 25, 2015


> A lot of the pushback I hear about is the teaching consent stuff

Might explain the bishop's opposition, then.
posted by scruss at 4:55 AM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


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