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Ontario's minister of Education says sex ed curriculum 'one of the strongest things' Liberal government has done

Two Ontario PC leadership hopefuls want to revisit the province's sex ed curriculum, which was introduced in 2015
20180214 Indira Naidoo-Harris Bishop Macdonnel Secondary School KA 04
Indira Naidoo-Harris, Ontario’s minister of Education, speaks at a funding announcement at Bishop Macdonnel Catholic High School on Wednesday. Kenneth Armstrong/GuelphToday

While some Ontario PC leadership candidates want to reverse changes made to the province’s sexual education curriculum, Ontario’s minister of Education says it gives today’s students the tools and information they need to keep themselves safe.

In Guelph on Wednesday for a funding announcement about increased broadband access in schools across the province, Naidoo-Harris spoke at Bishop Macdonell High School.

Naidoo-Harris told GuelphToday the response the government has recieved about the sexual education curriculum has been positive.

The Liberal Ontario government updated the sex ed curriculum in 2015.

“The response we have been getting back from parents and students is that it is one of the strongest things we have done,” said Naidoo-Harris.

On Monday, CBC reported that Ontario PC leadership contenders Doug Ford and Christine Elliott are both on the record saying parents need to be consulted on the lessons taught in the sex ed curriculum at schools in the province.

Caroline Mulrony, the third candidate in the Ontario PC leadership race, has said she would not support revisiting the current sex ed curriculum, but would see that parents are more closely consulted if it were to change in the future.

Guelph currently has no Ontario PC candidate announced for the upcoming provincial election.

Naidoo-Harris cited the attention high profile sexual assault and sexual harassment cases have received recently, including the creation of the #MeToo movement.

“It just drives home the fact that protecting our young people is extremely important. There is a role for schools to play in ensuring they know their rights and know how to protect themselves,” said Naidoo-Harris.

The previous sex ed curriculum was in place for 15 years, said Naidoo-Harris, and needed updating in terms of educating students about consent and the challenges that come with social media, like Instagram and Snapchat.

“We felt we needed to prepare our children for the future and give them the tools that they need to be safe,” said Naidoo-Harris.

She said the updating of the sex ed curriculum is one of the most important things the Liberal government has done while in power.

“We felt it was important to take a proactive role and give our kids the tools and the resources and the information and the knowledge that they need to be able to keep themselves safe,” said Naidoo-Harris.

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Kenneth Armstrong

About the Author: Kenneth Armstrong

Kenneth Armstrong is a news reporter and photojournalist who regularly covers municipal government, business and politics and photographs events, sports and features.
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