Ontario Finally Updates Sex-Ed Curriculum for Digital Age

Ontario has finally updated its sex-ed curriculum to include sexting and other modern topics. The new amendments to the curriculum were revealed on Monday, which are the first province has made since 1998 in order to bring it more up to date with the Internet age.

During a press conference in Queen’s Park, Education Minister Liz Sandals explained that “the world had changed a lot in the last 15 years. Concepts such as smartphones, snap chat and sexting were not familiar to anyone, let alone students.” She mentioned that “today, we live in a digital and interconnected world where information is literally at our fingertips around the clock. Students have instant access to quite explicit information from unreliable, inaccurate and often offensive sources. This is why it’s so important to ensure that our children have the right information.”

Furthermore, the curriculum is amended to include teaching on same-sex relationships in Grade 3 and masturbation in Grade 6. Whereas, Grade 7 students will now be taught about contraception, gender identity and sexually transmitted diseases. The much-awaited curriculum update has been in the works since almost five years now as the premier in 2010, Dalton McGuinty, is criticized to have given up to pressure from religious groups. Ms. Sandals alleged that it will not happen again and she was “disappointed” when Mr. McGuinty shelved the curriculum in 2010. She stated that “I was disappointed that it didn’t happen. But you can rest assured that I will make sure it happens now.”

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