Mr. Speaker, this Thanksgiving, I give thanks for the incredible young people in Parkdale—High Park, students who had the courage to stand up and be heard on something that is vital: their education.
In 2015, Ontario revised its sexual education curriculum to bring it into the 21st century, to address things like same-sex families, gender identity, online bullying and consent, but the new Ontario government has seen fit to reverse that curriculum, to take it back to 1998 when things like the Internet and online sexual predatory activity were in their infancy. This reversion is not only unwelcome, it is unhelpful. It prevents our children from learning how to protect themselves.
However, it is not just me who disagrees with the reversion. It is also hundreds of my young constituents from Parkdale Collegiate, Western Tech, Ursula Franklin Academy, TheStudentSchool and Humberside Collegiate who walked out of class on September 21 to say, “We do not consent to taking education backward”.
Today, I lend my voice to theirs. Sex education must be modern and inclusive, and empower our young people about how to stay safe.