It was the government’s turn to make its case in favour of repealing the 2015 sex-ed curriculum for a much older version. The province’s lawyer tried to dispel criticism from teachers while also clearing the air about what’s expected of them in the classroom.
The lawyer appointed by the Ontario government told a three judge panel in Ontario Superior Court that the 1998 sex-ed curriculum isn’t discriminatory as much as it’s written at a relatively high level of generality.
He pointed out that grade two students should be able to identify different families, but in the actual document, it doesn’t spell out the types of families.
Michael Bryant, former Attorney General, now with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, says the dated curriculum is more than just general.
“It’s driven by homophobia that’s what this is about, the government is discriminating against a certain group of people and we’re trying to get it struck down.”
The lawyer went on to say that the broad strokes nature of the curriculum allows teachers freedom to use contemporary content to fill in the blanks.
While the government’s lawyer does point out that teachers can reference the 2015 sex-ed as a resource, one Hamilton teacher says she’s still unclear how she’s supposed to do her job.
Unlike the Toronto and Kingston school boards which according to the government lawyer agreed to follow the ’98 guidelines while touching on modern topics, the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board hasn’t released any official guidelines.
Next, the judges panel will decide whether to dismiss the case or not. In the meantime, the Education Minister has wrapped a consultations that included roughly 72,000 submissions that will eventually lead to the introduction of a new sex-ed curriculum by next school year.