Sex-ed rollback won’t shake board's equity stance

News Jul 13, 2018 by Richard Leitner Hamilton Mountain News

The chair of Hamilton’s public school board says the province’s decision to scrap an updated sex-education curriculum won’t shake a commitment to respecting all students regardless of their sexuality or gender identity.

Todd White said a strategic goal of ensuring all students and staff feel safe, supported and accepted is embedded in everything the board does and that won’t change even if sex education is revised following a promised review.

Premier Doug Ford’s new Progressive Conservative government quickly made good on a campaign promise by revoking the updated curriculum, which sparked protests from some parents because it introduced topics like gender identity and sexual orientation.

Education Minister Lisa Thompson has said students will instead be taught the old 1998 curriculum until a review of possible changes is completed.

White said families have always had the right to opt their children out sex education lessons but very few did so since the updated curriculum was introduced in the 2015-16 school year.

He said the board is open to changes, but they should reflect what is best for students and not be a partisan issue.

“We don’t want to rehash divisive conversations about LGBTQ or gender-identity issues. Those are conversations of the past and quite frankly I think we’ve landed in a very good place,” White said.

“If they land in a new place, obviously we’ll follow that direction, but at the same time we want to ensure that all of our principles around equity and safe and caring learning environments are upheld.”

The 2015 changes to sex education were part of an update to the health and physical education curriculum and included teaching students in Grade 1 the proper names for genitalia, rather than just those for major body parts.

Students in Grade 3 learned about invisible differences in people — including gender identity and sexual orientation — and to respect them.

Reflecting the digital era, students in Grade 7 were warned about the dangers of sexting as well as the importance of consent to sexual activities.

A presentation to trustees in September 2015 outlined a variety of strategies for teaching the curriculum, depending on students’ age.

A sample video on sexual consent, for instance, used serving tea as an analogy, running through various scenarios where a person wouldn’t force tea on someone, including if they didn’t want any, were unconscious or changed their mind.

Sex-ed rollback won’t shake equity stance, Hamilton board chair says

‘We’ve landed in a very good place,’ Todd White says

News Jul 13, 2018 by Richard Leitner Hamilton Mountain News

The chair of Hamilton’s public school board says the province’s decision to scrap an updated sex-education curriculum won’t shake a commitment to respecting all students regardless of their sexuality or gender identity.

Todd White said a strategic goal of ensuring all students and staff feel safe, supported and accepted is embedded in everything the board does and that won’t change even if sex education is revised following a promised review.

Premier Doug Ford’s new Progressive Conservative government quickly made good on a campaign promise by revoking the updated curriculum, which sparked protests from some parents because it introduced topics like gender identity and sexual orientation.

Education Minister Lisa Thompson has said students will instead be taught the old 1998 curriculum until a review of possible changes is completed.

We don’t want to rehash divisive conversations about LGBTQ or gender-identity issues. Those are conversations of the past. — Todd White

White said families have always had the right to opt their children out sex education lessons but very few did so since the updated curriculum was introduced in the 2015-16 school year.

He said the board is open to changes, but they should reflect what is best for students and not be a partisan issue.

“We don’t want to rehash divisive conversations about LGBTQ or gender-identity issues. Those are conversations of the past and quite frankly I think we’ve landed in a very good place,” White said.

“If they land in a new place, obviously we’ll follow that direction, but at the same time we want to ensure that all of our principles around equity and safe and caring learning environments are upheld.”

The 2015 changes to sex education were part of an update to the health and physical education curriculum and included teaching students in Grade 1 the proper names for genitalia, rather than just those for major body parts.

Students in Grade 3 learned about invisible differences in people — including gender identity and sexual orientation — and to respect them.

Reflecting the digital era, students in Grade 7 were warned about the dangers of sexting as well as the importance of consent to sexual activities.

A presentation to trustees in September 2015 outlined a variety of strategies for teaching the curriculum, depending on students’ age.

A sample video on sexual consent, for instance, used serving tea as an analogy, running through various scenarios where a person wouldn’t force tea on someone, including if they didn’t want any, were unconscious or changed their mind.

Sex-ed rollback won’t shake equity stance, Hamilton board chair says

‘We’ve landed in a very good place,’ Todd White says

News Jul 13, 2018 by Richard Leitner Hamilton Mountain News

The chair of Hamilton’s public school board says the province’s decision to scrap an updated sex-education curriculum won’t shake a commitment to respecting all students regardless of their sexuality or gender identity.

Todd White said a strategic goal of ensuring all students and staff feel safe, supported and accepted is embedded in everything the board does and that won’t change even if sex education is revised following a promised review.

Premier Doug Ford’s new Progressive Conservative government quickly made good on a campaign promise by revoking the updated curriculum, which sparked protests from some parents because it introduced topics like gender identity and sexual orientation.

Education Minister Lisa Thompson has said students will instead be taught the old 1998 curriculum until a review of possible changes is completed.

We don’t want to rehash divisive conversations about LGBTQ or gender-identity issues. Those are conversations of the past. — Todd White

White said families have always had the right to opt their children out sex education lessons but very few did so since the updated curriculum was introduced in the 2015-16 school year.

He said the board is open to changes, but they should reflect what is best for students and not be a partisan issue.

“We don’t want to rehash divisive conversations about LGBTQ or gender-identity issues. Those are conversations of the past and quite frankly I think we’ve landed in a very good place,” White said.

“If they land in a new place, obviously we’ll follow that direction, but at the same time we want to ensure that all of our principles around equity and safe and caring learning environments are upheld.”

The 2015 changes to sex education were part of an update to the health and physical education curriculum and included teaching students in Grade 1 the proper names for genitalia, rather than just those for major body parts.

Students in Grade 3 learned about invisible differences in people — including gender identity and sexual orientation — and to respect them.

Reflecting the digital era, students in Grade 7 were warned about the dangers of sexting as well as the importance of consent to sexual activities.

A presentation to trustees in September 2015 outlined a variety of strategies for teaching the curriculum, depending on students’ age.

A sample video on sexual consent, for instance, used serving tea as an analogy, running through various scenarios where a person wouldn’t force tea on someone, including if they didn’t want any, were unconscious or changed their mind.