What do you do when you find out your third-grader is going to be getting classroom instruction in same-sex relations?
Parents in Toronto didn’t take the news lightly. At one school, half of them pulled their kids out.
Many parents believe that the changes to sex education in their schools – the first change in the province since 1998 – have been forced on them with inadequate consultation and that they are age inappropriate, The Tablet reported.
Sex education teaching starts from grade 1 (6-7-year-olds) under the changes, while grade 3 students (8-9-year-olds) will learn about same-sex relationships, children in grade 4 (9-10-year-olds) and up will learn more about the dangers of online bullying, while the perils of sexting will be taught in grade 7 (12-13-year-olds). The Liberal-led government has backed the changes with a television, print and online advertising campaign in a number of different languages.
At one school, Thorncliffe Park Public school, in Toronto on Tuesday almost 700 students did not attend as a result of the changes, the British Catholic newspaper reported.
In 1995, the Pontifical Council for the Family issued The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality: Guidelines for Education within the Family (TMHS), a document meant to guide Catholic families in the proper way to form their children in this area. The late Kenneth Whitehead, a Catholic author and former assistant secretary of education in the Reagan administration, summarized the document:
Given the delicacy and sensitivity of this particular kind of subject matter, the Church has constantly and consistently held that this kind of education in chastity is best done privately, in the heart of the family, as Vatican II taught. This should take into strict account the individual stage of development of each child thus being educated — TMHS has a long, scientifically accurate, and very useful section on Children’s Principal Stages of Development, which, among other things, reaffirms the importance of the child’s latency period (although it does not use this particular term). The latency period, of course, is the time in the young person’s development when the explicit information about the facts of life should precisely not be given — although most modern school programs are specifically and perversely designed to give it at this very time (usually the fifth grade) in order to break down the child’s natural defenses.