Ontario’s new Health and Physical Education curriculum has angered the government’s most conservative supporters and disappointed progressives who say it doesn’t do enough to teach young people about issues such as gender identity.
The curriculum, announced Friday by Education Minister Lisa Thompson, includes some elements of the 2015 sex ed program introduced by the previous Liberal government, although the topic of gender identity and gender expression is delayed until the second half of Grade 8. It also gives parents the choice to opt out and promises to make lessons available online for parents to teach at home.
Beginning in Grade 1, pupils will be taught the proper names for their body parts and topics such as personal safety, concussions and bullying. In Grade 4, pupils will begin to learn about puberty, consent and sexual reproduction, and in Grade 6, sexual orientation.
The curriculum also includes sections on cannabis, mental health, healthy eating and