I’m always amused by people speaking as if they are experts at anything at all. As a teacher, we are always looking for ways to include parents in the education of their children, as we are simply in loco parentis, and will never replace the parents as the child’s primary educators. The issue about an ideology called sexual orientation and gender identity, is one that’s from a small group of people who wish to impose on the general population a belief system that removes the responsibility and opportunity for a child’s parents, whether straight or otherwise, to educate their child in the way they see fit, in whatever beliefs they hold as a family.
Doug Ford’s PC Party, as a campaign promise, has begun the withdrawal of the sex-ed curriculum implemented by the Ontario Liberals who lost the recent elections. Forty percent of the voters have clearly stated their voice – no to educating our children with an ideology we do not believe in. Pure and simple.
If a same-sex couple wants to teach their child their knowledge of what is sexually acceptable, then so be it, but a heterosexual couple should also have that opportunity to do so without the meddling of the state or a curriculum based on an ideology forced on the larger population. Parents, (yes, even religious and heterosexual ones, gasp!) have the right to teach their their beliefs, moral systems and familial principles in the spirit of love, understanding and respect for all. This is what should be the concern of curriculum – to foster a great respect and love for people regardless of who they are (and yes, this is a principle that Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism and other major religions follow and share) Implementing a curriculum that promotes one ideology but at the same time dismisses the set beliefs of many others is contrary to what a real curriculum should be doing. As well, science needs to be at the forefront of this discussion because it is paramount to the preservation of humankind.
As a teacher and parent, I agree with Barbara Kay (see National Post article) and the Ford government that the parents should be the one to decide how they will teach this sensitive issue to their children with the help of a scientifically-based sex-ed program. Let me further this argument by saying that it should be based on the understanding about matters that concern the general education of the children, which means giving them information that is not based on a belief system of any particular group. This is what private or independent schools are for, and the reason why parents do enroll their children in specific schools is so that they can get the specific instruction they want for their children in terms of ideology and religious beliefs. This is protected by the Charter of Rights, just like any other rights of all Canadians. The revision of the curriculum enables the parents to take away the chance of a few groups of ideologues, including us teachers who may have our own agendas, to enforce on the children information that they may not be ready for, or information that it is contrary to their own set of beliefs.
Teachers are not experts on each individual child, as each child is unique and will have a different set of knowledge, principles and needs that have been formed from the love and nurturing of their families. The curriculum will not make a difference to a child if it doesn’t make sense to him or her because of how he or she was raised. Unlike Math, Science, History, which are subjects based on established algorithms, sound and tested theories, and factual evidences, sex-ed in the way it is currently being implemented is partly not objective, especially on the issue of gender identity, a subject that a third grader will never understand because their only concern at this point in their lives is play, not their sexual identity. SOGI 123 in BC has the same problems as it was haphazardly implemented and done without consultation of parents. We need to put back the objectiveness of the sex-ed curriculum by simply teaching the nature of the human body. Feelings and emotions, although they can be scientifically analyzed through sound psychology, cannot be used as a basis for creating a curriculum that is applicable to all. Ask Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson and social critic Camille Paglia, who calls any disruption on a child’s natural development as a boy or a girl through ideology and surgical means, “a crime against humanity”. Decisions such as these need to take its natural course, and are subjective, and should, therefore, remain the prerogative of the child’s parent, caregiver, or guardian. The child also needs an objective therapist if the child needs one to be able to understand what he or she is going through, not hormone blockers, pills or therapy that would further confuse the child.
None of our comments pretending that we care for all these children individually should matter, as the only thing that does matter is that a child is loved and should go through his or her stages of development soundly and peacefully, without the ideological, sociological and political meddling of some of us who think we are experts that can make humankind perfect.
Barbara Kay’s article in the National Post: