Parents and children gathered just outside of the Victoria Park gates, addressing their concerns over the Ontario sex-ed curriculum. Participants shared why they are saying “no” to the curriculum, holding signs and marched around downtown London.
“It should be heard by now that our real concern is not that we object teaching sex education to the children,” said organizer Snowflake Shang, “it’s that all of the information [is] either misleading or missing.” For example, she expected to be more information about using a condom for protected sex, which is taught to grade seven students. “They forgot to tell the students that ‘Oh, by the way, condoms are only 85% effective, so you’re still risking [a] 15% chance of getting pregnant, and getting transmitted [diseases].” She also felt there should be more information about the life expectancy of someone with HIV/AIDS, and the health risks of anal sex.
Others, like Ahmed Ibrahim, are uncomfortable with their children learning about the information. “So far, what I hear about the curriculum is violating the innocence of my children,” he said, noting he had been in Canada for a month. His children are in grade four and kindergarten. “I’m not expecting them to have that much of a knowledge about sex at such a young age.”
The protest comes after another one that was held last spring, along with parents pulling their children out of school because they disagree with the curriculum. Although the school year is coming to a close, Shang said they will continue to address their concerns. She encourages parents who disagree with the curriculum to speak up. “Our government is probably counting on you being silent, or with you shaking your heads saying ‘we will never win this, what ever is going to be, is going to be’. No, you have every right to fight for your blood and your flesh.”