Stories about Ontario's updated sex education curriculum have been all over the news for the past few weeks. Why? Because after operating with the same sex ed curriculum since 1998, parents are worried that the newly updated curriculum—which features some pretty big changes—will give their children too much information, and too soon.
Created after consulting with 5,000 school council representatives, the new curriculum includes topics such as homosexuality, same-sex marriage, sexually transmitted diseases, masturbation, consent, and healthy relationships. There are also updates to the curriculum that were necessitated by our more technologically-minded society, including information on sexting and cyberbullying. Those who have criticized the new curriculum insist that the information that will be provided to their children isn't age-appropriate. As Sarah Carlyon-Baker tells Canada's National Post, "I am wary because I don’t want my kids to grow up—I want them to stay innocent and sweet and continue to think that unicorns are real and that all people are good." She is partially kidding, but her and many other parents do feel that it's the parents' responsibility to teach their children this information, and at a time they deem appropriate.
Proponents of the new sex ed policies, however, feel it's important to give children this information earlier, so that they can then be prepared to make informed decisions on their own.
The new curriculum will be released later this winter, and students will begin learning it in September 2015. Education Minister Liz Sandals, who had the job of updating the health and physical education plan that was originally created in 2010, has said that the curriculum will not be up for debate once it is announced.
You can read more about this debate here and here.