McGuinty’s new sex education curriculum

Latest Update: Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star may have a point about why Premier McGuinty and his Liberal caucus scrapped the sex education curriculum after only 54 hours. He may indeed be worried that Ontario voters have had enough. Well, I know this Ontarian definitely has had enough. As DiManno writes:

“One can only imagine how severe the backlash must have been for McGuinty to reverse himself just 54 hours after strongly defending the merits of a new curriculum that had been formulated during two years of consultation. The contents were available online for several months but had disappeared by Friday: Poof, gone.

Scrapping the endeavour, with a promise to more fully engage parents in formulating the next “rethink’’ blueprint, might be seen as a victory for populist opposition. Conversely, it also reveals a government weak at the knees, anxious to appease an electorate that just might be angry enough to punish at the polls, even if that means turning turtle on some core beliefs. [My italics]

First Update: Premier McGuinty backs down on changes to sex education curriculum. Proof positive that if criticism and complaining  is loud and clear, Ontarians can get results. More also at Blue Like You and the comment thread.

Original post begins here: This post is about Ontario Liberal Premier McGuinty’s new sex education curriculum.It needs to be scrapped for at least two reasons: (1) children at ages 7 and 8 are not ready for such abstract concepts; and (2) it is going to provoke a religious backlash. Meaning, that Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak’s comment that it simply needs to be re-studied seems to miss those two points.

(1) On the first point, we have a century of child development research and theories about how children learn and at what stages they learn it. Did the Ontario Ministry of Education or the team who wrote this curriculum not use any of that data? Here, for starters, are just a few links to some relevant sources: Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, the actual stages of cognitive development, plus this Google source.  

The point is that children at the Grade 3 level are moving back and forth between pre-operations and concrete operations. Sex education and all the concepts connected to that subject would clearly require a child to be able to think abstractly, make inferences and draw conclusions. In fact, that stage of learning doesn’t happen until between ages 10 and 12, or even well after age 12.

So, when concepts and skills are presented too early, what will happen is that teachers and community speakers will get children who take things literally. The result? Children will become insecure, anxious and have nightmares. And why? Because the McGuinty government wants to be politically correct and seen as equitable by presenting, not only what sexual abuse looks like (which could be done in Health education) but about gender identity concepts as well.

(2) Second, there are the religious issues and clearly, the way the sex education curriculum is being forced on schools shows a complete lack of respect for the electorate and public stakeholders (e.g., those in the Catholic system).

In fact, given what we have heard and read recently about how parents will have to accept the full-day JK/SK program or keep their children at home, the McGuinty government has clearly become so union friendly and gone so far to the left they have moved completely off the page.

So, it’s long past time for a change. It’s also time that the Ontario PC Party fought these issues with some real leadership and gusto. I supported Tim Hudak’s leadership. I still support him. But, I want him and his caucus to know that they are not going to win the 2011 October election by simply not being the McGuinty government.

Ontarians need a real honest to goodness conservative choice. And, they need to embrace the Harris connection rather than fearing the Harris-Lite connection. As such, they need to put out advertisements to remind Ontarians what good the Harris government did. They also need to be on the offensive and put out ads debunking all the fearmongering the McGuinty government and the teachers’ unions have done about the Harris government.

McGuinty’s new sex education curriculum is just one more reason Ontarians need a PC government.

9 thoughts on “McGuinty’s new sex education curriculum

  1. How many different sites do you have?! It is hard to track all your alter egos.

    I recall sex ed in either grade 7 or 8. That was pretty much the age that I remember everyone starting to get horny. It should happen before high school.

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  2. Iceman — I really don’t have any alter ego’s. I just go by Sandy. But, I do have two blogs. Retired Educator used to be Crux of the Matter before my site got attacked by a virus and an infection caused by comment spam. But the URL still works. I have it transferred it to this site now. I couldn’t keep CotM because part of the virus had my posts automatically showing up on 24/7 fake news sites which were actually porn sites.

    Speaking of the sex ed, the problem with the suggested changes was all the gender identity politics stuff. Kids at 7 or 8 don’t need to know all the gory details of homosexuality, transgender issues, sex changes and so on.

    Anyway, welcome here. For the next little while I am going to hammer away at provincial politics related to education, particularly Ontario but BC has its issues as well. Maybe you can provide me with links to your neck of the woods.

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  3. Iceman — One more thing. When I started four years ago, Crux of the Matter was about “Education, Disability & Canadian Politics.” Which is why “Just Politics” has the title it does as I split the two themes up into two blogs.

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  4. Iceman — FYI — I just tried leaving a comment on your latest post and I couldn’t. I hit “comment” but the slider didn’t work where I usually check off “name” and then leave my info. It was like a very narrow blank column only. Probably affecting lots of other commenters as well.

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  5. Why has there been such an effort the last 25 years to sexualize young children,in first or second grade? I don’t understand.

    When I went through school, starting in 1954,to graduation in 1966,there was no sex education,and none of the girls I went from 1-12 with ended up pregnant.

    Yet, in my three kids classes in high school, there has been at least one and sometimes more, girl in every one of their classes end up pregnant.

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  6. Iceman – Near, or at, the onset of “horniness” strikes me as the ideal time to teach kids sex ed.

    Teaching them well before such a point of physical and psychological preparedness for sexual activity is a recipe for disaster.

    Kids between the ages of 7 and 11 tend to have an insatiable thirst for knowledge. If you teach them about sex, many will naturally want to experience sex, and at an age when sex is simply not appropriate for them.

    And if your argument is that kids that age will learn about sex from the internet or video games or TV, then that renders the whole exercise redundant, doesn’t it? I mean, if kids already know about something simply from normal interactions with the world around them, why does it have to be taught in school?

    So, sex ed for pre-teens is either earlier than ideal or redundant (and hence a waste of invaluable classroom time) or both. Either way, I see no good reason for it.

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  7. dmorris — We didn’t have sex education either because I went to an all-girls Catholic high school in Ottawa — Immaculata. However, all my friends had boyfriends. Yet, none of us got pregnant out of marriage. And, that was in the late fifties and early 60’s when the pill was just released. So, now it is out there and easily accessible. Yet, all these girls are getting pregnant? Why? To go on social assistance? When I worked for the Ontario MPP, some actually told me on the telephone that they were going to have a second or third children because the province would give them “a raise.”

    However, times have changed. Sex is everywhere so yes I can see it started at the grade 5 or 6 level, but grade 3, no way. That said, I didn’t get the impression that was what the changes were about. They were about indoctrinating young kids about homosexuality, transexual, transgender, whatever. It is as though our society has become not only athiest and politically correct, but morally relative as well.

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  8. If the schools want to teach sex education it should be from a technical perspective and only just before the legal age in my opinion. Before that it is imperative that parents do the job of explaining the birds and the bees.

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