Ontario Court Upholds PC Sex Ed Curriculum

Ontario Court Dismisses Teachers Federation Legal Challenge

The Ontario Superior Court has dismissed a legal challenge against the Ford Government’s changes to province’s sex-ed curriculum.

The challenge came from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and argued that the changes made by the PC government were not inclusive for all students, and violated teachers’ freedom of expression.

The court disagreed, upholding the Tories’ new curriculum. The 2015 lesson plan that was repealed included discussion about online bullying, sexting, and same-sex relationships and gender identity. The ETFO argued replealing these lessons hampered the ability of a teacher to teach. The Ontario Superior Court ruling released today says the curriculum does not violate any teachers’ rights. “Nothing in the 2010 curriculum prohibits a teacher from teaching any of the topics in question, which include: consent, use of proper names to describe body parts, gender identity and sexual orientation, online behaviour and cyberbullying, sexually transmitted diseases and infections,”

A statement from the ETFO details what it calls a victory in that the court ruled that teachers do have the ability to meet and exceed curriculum expectations. The Federation says this enshrines the professional judgement of teachers to establish inclusive learning environments. “ETFO took a principled position to stop the unprecedented and unnecessary attack on kids and professional educators in Ontario,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “The government’s explicit concession on this point in court makes this case a victory for ETFO and others. I have no doubt that such a concession would never have occurred without litigation.”