For immediate release from the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada
March 15, 2019
Ontario curriculum update increases parental involvement and that’s a good thing
OTTAWA, ON – This morning, Ontario Minister of Education Lisa Thompson announced some much-needed improvements to the provincial curriculum. During the press conference, Minister Thompson addressed some of the concerns Ontario parents had with the previous Wynne-era curriculum, particularly about the sexual health curriculum.
André Schutten, Director of Law & Policy for the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada, applauded the re-engagement and involvement of parents in this curriculum.
“As a constitutional lawyer, I’ve been tracking a worrying trend of provincial governments running rough-shod over parental rights and responsibilities,” he said. “Education is a parental responsibility. And it was encouraging to hear the Minister recognize parents as the primary educators of the children and we were encouraged to hear the Minister discuss the importance of parents knowing who is teaching what to their children. The Minister’s assurance that the curriculum will be available for parents to see and opt to take their children out of any material they deem inappropriate is a welcome change.”
“While the curriculum will still cover subject matter that is extremely sensitive and private in nature, we are pleased to hear that the Minister has raised the age that kids will be exposed to certain concepts,” stated Schutten. “When the government opened consultations with Ontarians, we encouraged parents to communicate five key components that we wanted to see in the curriculum. We appreciate that school curriculum can always be improved, but we are thankful that Minister Thompson listened to parents across the province who were concerned about the age appropriateness of some of the sexual health material.”
ARPA Canada also noted the focus on safety specifically around social media and the internet and hopes that this translates into protecting high schools from the danger of human trafficking and from being exposed to pornographic material online.
“We need to focus on protecting our high school students. Our hope is that as the curriculum continues to develop, it will also address the reality of domestic human trafficking and the damaging effects of pornography on the developing brain,” said Schutten.
Schutten acknowledged that the curriculum is not going to be perfect. “There will still be parents upset about what is in the curriculum. But really, no curriculum will override the fact that parents need to take primary responsibility for their child’s education. My hope is that parents who were anticipating greater changes will remain involved with their children’s education and respectfully engage with teachers, administrators, and school boards to address any ongoing concerns.”
ARPA Canada is a national advocacy organization with a mission to educate, equip, and encourage Christians to political action. They have thirteen chapters across the country, with five in Ontario.
André Schutten is available for comment by telephone or in person (Ottawa), and can be contacted directly by phone or email: 613-297-5172 | [email protected]
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