Ontario is going to face a legal challenge over its removal of LGBTQ-inclusive sex education

(C) Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr

The inclusive sex education was only introduced in 2015.

The government of the Canadian city of Ontario are facing a human rights lawsuit after they scrapped inclusive sex education from their curriculum. The updated curriculum, which was only introduced in 2015 included teaching about same-sex couples, gender identity and sexting. However, Ontario’s Premier, Doug Ford, scrapped it in July.

This means that the curriculum will revert to how it was when it was introduced in 1998, and removes all mentions of LGBTQ issues. But now, a group of families are filing a lawsuit, claiming that the scrapping of the new curriculum is a violation of the human rights of LGBTQ students. Defending the scrapping, Lisa Thompson, the Education Minister, said the old curriculum was “adequate” enough for the “realities of today.”

According to the National Post, the lead plaintiff in the case is an 11-year-old transgender girl. One of the lawyers in the case, Mika Imai said that the change would have a “huge impact”, particularly on LGBTQ students. Imai also pointed to how the new curriculum had brought down instances of bullying, saying: “Before this curriculum came in place, their kids were getting bullied, no one knew what to make of them.

“There was a real sea change when the 2015 curriculum came into place. Suddenly these conversations had to happen.” Ontario is going to face a legal challenge over its removal of LGBTQ-inclusive sex education

Also speaking to the National Post, Jake Somerville, the parent of a transgender daughter praised the 2015 curriculum, and credited it with making his daughter’s transition almost “seamless.” “All the other children had questions right away, so [teachers] pulled out some children’s literature that would address my daughter’s transition,” he said. “It was great because we found immediately that the children understood what was going on and no longer had really serious questions.

They kind of became instant allies to her.” The new policy was also condemned by many workers in the health sector. Earlier this week, Andrea Horwath, the leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party, delivered a petition signed by nearly 1,800 workers who said the repeal of the sex education curriculum put “children’s health at risk.”

Two dozen school boards have also voiced criticism of the repeal and vowed to continue teaching some of the issues that the modern policy had.

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