COLUMN: Wynne’s sex education plan needs review

SOUTH DUNDAS – While preaching “Safe Hands” in the last general election, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is not responding to parents concerns about the new sex-education curriculum that will be taught starting this Fall. This is despite parent protests of the possibility that now-convicted sex offender and former Deputy Education Minister Ben Levin had anything to do with the curriculum changes.

Levin is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty this week to the charges of making written child pornography, counseling a person to commit a sexual assault, and possession of child pornography. He was also charged with seven child-pornography-related offenses, but the Crown dropped those charges when Levin plead guilty to the first three.

Levin was in charge of, and hired specifically for, creating the first version of this sex-education program when Wynne was Education Minister. In typical secretive government style, this new plan, as released by Education Minister Liz Sandals, may not have Levin’s name on it, but is certainly tainted by it.

Why, in the next three-to-four months, can’t the Minister ask for an independent body, group or groups to peer-review this plan. See what the experts say about it. Perhaps an expert from British Columbia, which has a highly respected “Body Science” program of sex-education that supposedly the Ontario plan is based on. If the government doesn’t have anything to hide, if they are truly confident in the program that has been designed, put it up for scrutiny.

As a parent, there is no objection to teaching “Body Science” in school here. How the body functions, why it functions that way and how to take care of it. But without a review of how the program was developed, and how much input Levin had in the program, and how much of that stayed, how can parents know or trust the government in this?

Queen’s Park Day Care

To those of all political stripes, who work at the Ontario Legislature, please grow up! Grow up now. Queen’s Park is not a daycare, there is no taunting of each other, no name calling. You do not attack each other by cutting individual members down. Expressing opposition to a policy or an ideal does not mean you are racist, or homophobic, or a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal. Nor do you question proven work experience or records of individuals. Members on both sides of the legislature need to grow up.

Parliament is where debate is to occur. Bills are debated, government questioned and held to account by Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, and governance occurs. If members of Queen’s Park want to resort to name calling, quit your seat and go out to the playground. Our tax dollars shouldn’t be funding the most expensive daycare in Ontario.

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