Family Sit-In and March at Queen’s Park on June 7, 2015, from 2:00-6:00pm. The event is to protest the sex “education” curriculum. Please attend.
by Lou Iacobelli
Canadian Families Alliance, Press Conference at Queen’s Park on June 1, 2015
The Canadian Families Alliance will hold a protest sit-in and march against the radical sex “education” curriculum. Here’s the statement we made at today press conference held in the media room of the legislative assembly of Ontario.
As chair of the Parental Rights in Education Defense Fund, I am here this morning to speak on behalf of the Canadian Families Alliance (CFA). Mr. John Himanen is also here to talk more specifically about parental concerns. Since the release of the Health and Physical Education document for Grades 1-8, there have been numerous parental protests across the province of Ontario against the radical sex “education” component, also referred to as the sex curriculum. Parents don’t object to the content that covers personal hygiene, physical fitness and healthy living. Parents do reject covering explicit issues and sexual activities even before children reach puberty. Some of these age inappropriate topics include gender identity, anal and oral sex, the concept of consent and making a sexual plan. In reaction, parents have protested in Sarnia, Windsor, Ottawa, Peterborough, Oakville, Brampton, Mississauga, Scarborough, Queen’s Park, Peel and other locations. However, the Liberal government has refused to listen to what the majority of parents want: the respect for parental rights and to withdraw completely the sex “education” sections of the document.
Given the inflexible attitude of the government, the newly formed Canadian Families Alliance (CFA), a group of concerned Ontario parents coming together from different cultural backgrounds, groups and beliefs, will hold a Family Sit-In and March at Queen’s Park on June 7, 2015, from 2:00-6:00pm. The event is to protest the sex “education” curriculum and bring once more to the attention of Ontarians the government’s hard line response to the issue. Parents as first educators of their children have the right to choose the kind of education they want for their children. The Health and Physical Education document does state that “Parents are the primary educators of their children with respect to learning about values, appropriate behavior, and ethno-cultural, spiritual, and personal beliefs and traditions, and they are their children’s first role models. It is therefore important for schools and parents to work together to ensure that home and school provide a mutually supportive framework for young people’s education.” However, both the document itself and the government’s response to parents who have objected to the sex curriculum have totally undermined the role of parents in the education of their children. So, instead of respecting parental rights, the government has violated them by refusing to address parental concerns, beliefs and cultural values. We believe the government is acting as the bully.
In view of the government’s hard line approach, the Canadian Families Alliance (CFA) continues to demand that the sex “education” curriculum be withdrawn. Were the government to introduce it again, it must be done openly and with a fully transparent and province-wide consultation process. As it stands, CFA believes the document infringes on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, prejudicially affects the right of denominational schools and violates parental rights. The media and the government are currently giving much attention to teacher strikes, Hydro One and the Pan Am games, but what’s most important for parents is who and what their children will be taught and to have a say in it.
The CFA reminds the provincial Liberal government that the sex “education” curriculum was not an election issue, parents did not vote for it and certainly don’t want it. A trustee in Oakville has already presented a motion asking the school board to delay implementation of the sex curriculum noting the “graphic content” and the government’s lack of parent consultation as was promised. A father of two children from Hamilton has been in court for nearly three years battling against the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board in an attempt to exercise his parental rights. The government has done nothing to end or resolve the case except to continue to fund it through our tax money. Knowing this, parents cannot trust this government nor school boards to protect parental rights and children’s rights to just be children.
The theme of the protest on June 7th is: “We Say No to the Radical Sex-Ed Curriculum.” CFA is a grassroots parent organization whose main goal is to protect the rights of parents, guardians and caregivers as the primary educators of their children.
The Canadian Families Alliance brings to the attention of Ontarians and the government that parents are not going away. They will continue to object to the unacceptable sex “education” curriculum because they have sadly received no other option from the government but to continue to protest. Premier Wynne’s government has a temporary majority in the legislative assembly, but across Ontario she has lost the confidence of the real voting majority of parents. These parents don’t want any government to play the dangerous politics of political correctness with their children’s safety, well-being and innocence. The government claimed to have consulted 4,000 parents regarding the curriculum, but the CFA has ten times that number of signed petitions against it. This is evidence that the Liberal government no longer has the support and trust of the majority of Ontarians. CFA calls on the government to do the right thing: to listen to parents and drop the controversial curriculum. CFA will continue to reject any intrusion into the private lives of families.
Furthermore, parents are rightly concerned because Premier Wynne and Minister Sandals have said publicly that parents can choose to have their children opt out from the inappropriate curriculum that contradicts their values and beliefs. However, we know of no government plan in place to guarantee when or how this will be done. In addition, school boards have not permitted parents to exercise this option when it comes to the so-called “sensitive issues.” So, because of this, the Canadian Families Alliance (CFA) has taken action to defend parental rights and demands that the government withdraw the sex “education” curriculum and thus truly respect parental rights. This is a reasonable parental request in a province and in a nation, which tells the world that it values and respects, democratic principles, multiculturalism, diversity and tolerance. Thank you.
Statement by Mr. John Himanen Representing Parents
My name is John Himanen. My wife and I are the parents of three children currently attending elementary school in York Region. I am here this afternoon to speak on behalf of Ontario parents who have joined together to form the Canadian Families Alliance to voice our opposition to the Ontario government’s new Health and Physical Education Curriculum.
Premier Wynne and Minister of Education Liz Sandals have emphasized that the new Sex-Ed Curriculum was developed specifically for the protection of our children. They have justified its introduction on the grounds that students need to be provided with factual and up-to-date information that reflects the realities of today’s world. The question is then: why are so many opposed to the implementation of this Curriculum? The reasons are many, and they are ones that should concern all residents of Ontario.
First, the government continues to claim that a comprehensive consultation process with parents has been undertaken as part of the Curriculum development. This view is certainly not shared by Ontario parents. The survey of 4,000 chairs of Parent Councils conducted in November 2014 was decidedly biased, with vague and leading questions that were not relevant or specific enough to provide meaningful input into the development of the Curriculum. Following its introduction, there was no opportunity given to parents, or anyone else for that matter, to review and provide feedback on the Curriculum. And perhaps most importantly, MPP’s for the most part have declined to engage in any discussion related to the Curriculum. This is not acceptable to us.
Second, the Sex-Ed Curriculum imposes explicit, age-inappropriate information on our children that is not based on objective facts or the latest medical or scientific research. Throughout the Curriculum, there are statements of moral value which are intended to represent factual truths, but in reality are based on nothing more than selected opinions. For example, on page 175 the Curriculum states that “…masturbating is something that many people do and find pleasurable. It is common and is not harmful…” On page 216, the Curriculum teaches that a person’s self-concept can develop positively only if the person understands and accepts without questioning their gender identity and sexual orientation and if this person is accepted by family and community. These statements, and many others like them, are not based on any factual research. However, when they are presented as Teacher Prompts, they clearly establish the learning expectations for the student, and concepts they will be tested on in the future.
Third, there is critical subject matter that is completely omitted from the Curriculum. There is absolutely no mention made of pornography and its harmful impacts. This is a surprising omission in light of recent court cases dealing with child pornography and exploitation. There is no mention of what is Canadian law regarding the legal parameters of consensual sexual activity, which would be vital information to help students protect themselves against abuse and exploitation.
The Curriculum also teaches that oral sex, vaginal intercourse and anal intercourse are essentially equivalent activities with respect to the risk of sexually transmitted infections – even though studies show that the risk of HIV transmission during anal intercourse can be 18 times greater than during vaginal intercourse. The Curriculum makes no mention of marriage and explicitly discourages the use of the words “husband” and “wife”. Religious and faith-based institutions are intentionally excluded from being considered as meaningful community partners.
Finally, in a number of recent statements in the media, Premier Wynne has repeatedly emphasized that parents will have the choice to opt out their children from teaching they find objectionable in the Curriculum. This unfortunately will not be an option. Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, harassment is defined as “engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.” Despite the promises of Premier Wynne, it is important to understand that the very act of withdrawing a student from the Curriculum would be considered to be a discriminatory or harassing behaviour under the Code. The religious accommodation guidelines of Ontario school boards require them to limit practices or behaviour in their schools “which may put public safety, health, or the human rights and freedoms of others at risk”. This has already happened at various schools across the province, most recently at a public school in Peel Region. School administrators have not allowed exemptions for students from health education classes specifically because the opting out of children was determined to be contrary to the non-discrimination requirements of the Code. And so, there will be no opt-out for our children from the Curriculum. The Ontario Human Rights Code simply will not allow it.
In closing, the Canadian Families Alliance calls on Premier Wynne to withdraw the new Health and Physical Education Curriculum and to allow us as parents our right to play a meaningful role in the development of a revised Curriculum that is truly inclusive, and one that respects the diversity of all Ontario families, their beliefs and their values. Considering all the points I have presented, we encourage all Ontario parents who care about defending parental rights, to join and support the CFA in their March and Sit-In on June 7th from 2:00-6:00pm at Queen’s Park.
Source: Canadian Families Alliance