McKay says the curriculum is entirely age appropriate. At least one of the city's elementary schools had an absentee rate of more than 90 per cent, Bird said. Opponents have argued that the new program, which will teach students about concepts including gender identity, sexual orientation and masturbation, does not align with their values and is not appropriate for school-age children. And even in the U. At least one school board was expecting a spike in absences during the early days of the Facebook campaign. Sihu Yahaira, who has withdrawn her three children from school for the week, said gender issues are particularly at odds with her Christian faith.
That's more than double the 14, absences recorded last Monday. At least one of the city's elementary schools had an absentee rate of more than 90 per cent, Bird said. The Toronto District School Board said any absences related to the protest would be treated just like any other and students were responsible for catching up to any missed classwork. Lessons about puberty will move from Grade 5 to Grade 4, while masturbation and "gender expression" are mentioned in the Grade 6 curriculum. Ryan Bird, a spokesman with the Toronto District School Board, said 34, elementary school students were absent on the first day of the campaign, which was largely organized through Facebook. And even in the U. Many of the objections to the updated curriculum have been mounted on religious grounds. Sex education has long been a hot-button issue in the United States, where some conservative jurisdictions have brought in abstinence-only sex-ed instruction, while others have programs similar or even more progressive than Ontario's. Thorncliffe Park Public School was reporting that 1, of its 1, students were not in class, he said, adding that about parents had turned up to stage a protest outside the building. That's wrong," Yahaira said at a protest outside the provincial legislature. Opponents have argued that the new program, which will teach students about concepts including gender identity, sexual orientation and masturbation, does not align with their values and is not appropriate for school-age children. At least one school board was expecting a spike in absences during the early days of the Facebook campaign. Ontario parents also have the right to withdraw their children from aspects of the curriculum that they find objectionable. McKay says the curriculum is entirely age appropriate. Sihu Yahaira, who has withdrawn her three children from school for the week, said gender issues are particularly at odds with her Christian faith. We just want our voice to be heard. Janet McDougald, chair of the Peel District School Board, said she thinks a "fair number" of parents will pull their kids from school for at least the first day of the week in the culturally diverse region just west of Toronto. McDougald said opposition to the new curriculum has been largely founded on misinformation. I mean, that's just ridiculous. A comprehensive U. Alex McKay, Executive Director of the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada, says the only aspects of the curriculum that are not addressed in other provinces are conversations around consent and the dangers of sharing sexually explicit images electronically. Anal sex is part of the Grade 7 curriculum, in the context of choosing to abstain from or delay certain activities in order to avoid sexually transmitted infections. That's despite the fact that numerous Canadian and international studies have shown that fulsome sex-education programs have played a part in teens waiting longer to have sex, in increased contraceptive use and in reduced teen pregnancy rates. Thorncliffe Park, which serves students from Grades 1 to 5 in midtown Toronto, is widely recognized as having a large Muslim population. It will promote attitudes and behaviours that we find unacceptable," Cassels said of the new program.
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