The Ontario government is going back to the drawing board for more consultations over a revised physical education curriculum that was shelved after a small group of parents raised concerns about content they viewed as too explicit.
The Ministry of Education announced Wednesday that it was going to survey one parent at every elementary school across the province – approximately 4,000 parents - on the appropriate ages to introduce sensitive topics. The consultations will inform a "relevant and age-appropriate" Health and Physical Education curriculum that will be introduced to classrooms next fall, according to a government press release.
"Students need to have the best information possible so they can make informed decisions about their health and well-being," Minister of Education Liz Sandals said in a statement. "In our increasingly interconnected world, students often get information from unreliable and inaccurate sources. That is why an up-to-date, relevant and appropriate health and physical education curriculum is needed now more than ever, and is why we are committed to having one in place for the 2015 school year."
The Ontario government and former premier Dalton McGuinty introduced a revised phys-ed and health curriculum in early 2010.
But soon after, a Christian group led by evangelist Charles McVety expressed outrage at suggested talking points in the curriculum, including introducing the topic of same-sex marriage to Grade 3 students and a mention of anal intercourse in Grade 7. The portion of the revised curriculum relating to sex education was shelved soon after for consultation with parents and educators.