C. Gwendolyn Landolt – Letter to the Toronto Star Editor Feb 23, 2015
Star Columnist Martin Cohn’s several articles over the past few months on Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s sex education curriculum, indicate that he resides intellectually in the 19th century when the public docilely and unquestioningly accepted decisions made by so-called elites. In the 21st century, an educated, well informed public, no longer defers to the so called “experts” and self-appointed elites who think they know best.
Mr. Cohn has repeatedly described those who do not agree with his understanding of the curriculum as “right wing opposition opportunists and fundamentalists”. However, one does not have to be “right-wing” to be aware that sexual knowledge does not necessarily mean that adolescents will have safer sex behavior, since their brain is still developing in areas key to the regulation of behavior, emotion, and the perception and evaluation of risk and reward.
Children belong to and are a part of a family and, as a result, the family, not the state, has primary responsibility for the children in regard to education on sexuality.
Parents, however, do not share a common vision about the nature, content and age appropriateness of a sex education program. Most parents have their own values and perspective, and are far better placed to carry out the responsibility of teaching their children in sexual matters, than the so-called “experts” who impose their own values and standards by way of these programs.
It is crucial therefore, that any policy on sex education should have parental approval, which was absent in this curriculum development. Also, it should provide for parents, who object to the program, the alternative of opting their children out of the program.