Parents and members of several groups protested this week outside of Brant MPP Dave Levac’s office as part of a province wide response to the controversial changes to elementary school’s 2015 Sexual Education Curriculum.
Team Lead Phyllis Cruickshank explained that there are many groups behind the rallies, including parents as first educators hoping to voice their opinions of the curriculum and how it can affect children entering grade one.
“It’s about wanting the Liberal government to listen to the parents, and to respect the parents’ rights. Especially when it comes to their children and what their children learn,” said Cruickshank. “We don’t feel that the Liberal government is listening to parents.”
Cruickshank said she would like him Levac to consider the perspectives of those who do not agree to these changes.
“Stop, listen to the parents and respect what they have to say. Don’t block it by telling us that this curriculum that they’re pushing is science based and evidence based because that’s not true. We had an expert come into Mississauga, world renowned psychiatrist Dr. Marian Grosman, and she basically warned us to stand firm because the damage done to our children would be enormous,” she said.
Levac explained that the rally was overall professional and respectful.
“There were about 45-50 people there. Some with various posters outlining their “catch phrase,” commenting about the new-updated Phys.Ed/Health Curriculum for all elementary schools in the province. The issues for the protesters were: no real consultation with parents directly, content is inappropriate and not age appropriate, the parents believe they are not respected culturally, religiously or family wise, some believe some of the topics within the curriculum should be left out while others said “scrap” the entire curriculum, and they suggested that some professionals have said the content is not appropriate and will damage children with the parents left to “pick up the pieces,” said Levac.
“Everything was very respectful, no “over the top” shouting or rudeness. They were very professional and outlined their concerns with dignity, for which I returned the favour,” said Levac. “I listened carefully to the presentation and chants and then committed to relay, in letter form, their concerns and include any support material they submit to me to the Minister of Education, copy the Premier and copy them back to show I shared their voice to the government.”