Marit Stiles MPP, Davenport

Government of Ontario

Ford continues to put students’ safety behind political interests of his inner circle: Marit Stiles

Published on January 11, 2019

Regardless of how an Ontario Superior Court rules on a legal challenge trying to stop Doug Ford from banning updated sex-ed from Ontario schools, the two days of hearings held this week painted a picture of how Ford ignored the safety and well-being of students.

MPPs for the Ontario NDP attended the Wednesday and Thursday hearings, launched by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO). The groups challenged the Ford government’s decision to force an outdated sex-ed curriculum into Ontario classrooms — a curriculum that was written 20 years ago, in 1998, and which excludes mention of LGBTQ families, gender identity, consent or online bullying.

“Sitting in the court room today, I could just imagine how devastating it must be for an LGBTQ student in Ontario to watch the government argue against a curriculum that includes them — and pretend like that’s no big deal,” said Marit Stiles, the NDP Critic for Education.

“Doug Ford continues to put the health and safety of Ontario students behind the political interests of members of his inner circle. He’s ignored the thousands who weighed in in favour of a modern sex-ed curriculum on the online consultation; he’s ignored the parents, educators, social workers and doctors who have said an antiquated sex-ed curriculum fails to keep kids safe from dangers like online bullying and sexual violence.

The fact that caring adults had to take the government to court to fight for the safety of children shows how bad things have gotten. Ontario students deserve better.”

MPPs for the Ontario NDP attended the Wednesday and Thursday hearings, launched by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO). The groups challenged the Ford government’s decision to force an outdated sex-ed curriculum into Ontario classrooms — a curriculum that was written 20 years ago, in 1998, and which excludes mention of LGBTQ families, gender identity, consent or online bullying.

“Sitting in the court room today, I could just imagine how devastating it must be for an LGBTQ student in Ontario to watch the government argue against a curriculum that includes them — and pretend like that’s no big deal,” said Marit Stiles, the NDP Critic for Education.

“Doug Ford continues to put the health and safety of Ontario students behind the political interests of members of his inner circle. He’s ignored the thousands who weighed in in favour of a modern sex-ed curriculum on the online consultation; he’s ignored the parents, educators, social workers and doctors who have said an antiquated sex-ed curriculum fails to keep kids safe from dangers like online bullying and sexual violence.

The fact that caring adults had to take the government to court to fight for the safety of children shows how bad things have gotten. Ontario students deserve better.”