This is not an original post. Ernest Lavventura wrote it on Facebook and I wanted to find a way to publicize it. If you read my blog on why the conservative approach to sex education does not work, that will provide the context.
Sex Ed PSA:
For the teachers and/or parents concerned with the Ontario government’s ramping up of their anti-sex ed crusade, here are a some ideas:
1. This should not be something health/phys ed teachers deal with alone. Encourage your teacher to organize informal staff meetings to find ways to support the banned curriculum in all other areas of the curriculum so that one teacher does not become the target of the snitch line.
2. The Ontario curriculum cannot be taught in its entirety. There are overall expectations that are expected to be covered. Then there are specific expectations that act as a guideline for how a unit is taught. Creative teachers use some of these specific expectations as a very good starting point, which leads to the next point.
3. Effective teachers integrate information and ideas from across different parts of the curriculum. In fact, the Ontario curriculum is written with tons of cross-curricular opportunities, even related to the health ed curriculum. Keep this in mind with considering Number 1.
4. For example, across the elementary reading curriculum students are expected to read a wide range of culturally diverse texts. Introducing texts with diverse families would certainly satisfy this expectation, which happens to be the FIRST specific expectation of the reading curriculum.
5. Another example is that the homeroom teacher can and should teach responsible internet and social media use. This would make a very good media literacy unit. Polite and responsible online behaviour dovetails nicely into questions of consent. Another media lit project can examine how women/girls are portrayed in the media, which can lead to all sorts of other questions such as how are portrayals of sexuality in the media (such as porn which kids are seeing) can be quite negative and unhealthy.
6. There are all kinds of connections to the birds and the bees in the science curriculum. Try to teach the grade 5 human body strand without allowing anatomically correct vocabulary. Science is not effectively taught through euphemisms!
7. Best of all, no one can make accusations of teaching the revised health curriculum. Nope, I’m just teaching the curriculum.
8. If you do support the 2015 curriculum, explicitly voice support to your teachers, administrators, trustees, MPPs, and other parents. A very quick email will do. We get too many emails these days. [And if you don’t support the 2015 curriculum, good luck to you!]
9. It’s not enough to say you’ll teach this stuff at home. Many parents, like mine, never had these discussions with their kids. Not all kids have the parents comfortable enough to talk about this, hence the need for this stuff in schools.
10. Finally, flood the heck out of that Kellie Leitch-esque snitch line (fortheparents.ca) voicing your support for the revised curriculum. This is where you can send lots of emails.
These are just 10 ideas I brainstormed in about half an hour. There is a lot more teachers and parents can do, so please encourage these kinds of discussions throughout this conflict.
And feel free to share this, change it, or to add your own ideas. Thank you.