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“Inclusivity” is a mantra that has been adopted, with almost religious fervour, by our schools and institutions. But to be fully inclusive means that nothing can be excluded—boundaries are verboten. Any good parent knows that setting reasonable boundaries is an essential parenting tool for the development of toddlers and teens alike. How is it that schools—which are in the very business of child development—have so badly lost the plot?
In April of last year, retired principal Tony Kiar met with the Superintendent of Schools at Upper Canada District School Board to raise his concerns about sexually-explicit material that was easily available from the school board website. With just a few clicks from the Family Resources section of the UCDSB, someone could access soft porn that included information about anal sex, scissoring, fisting, and sex work among other things.
After this meeting, he received a letter outlining why the school board believed that access to such materials was within their mandate. The Superintendent of Schools wrote:
“While the appropriateness of such materials may be debatable to you, I feel it important to point out that research shows, clearly, that access to sex education does not foster promiscuous behaviour. Indeed, sexual health education has been shown to reduce such behaviour. Students who have access to more information wait longer to participate in sexual activity, and are more likely to use proper protection when they do so.”
“Most importantly in this time of attending to the well-being of others, this resource offers a hotline for young people to avail of support for their well-being and care. As the superintendent with portfolio responsibilities for Equity and Inclusion, I want to ensure that the school district’s practices are consistent with the goals of the UCDSB, and aligns with the Board’s Equity and Inclusion policy, which states: The UCDSB is therefore committed to an equitable education system that upholds and reflects the principles of fair and inclusive education which should permeate all policies, programs, practices, and operations. [Emphasis added] – David Coombs, Superintendent of Schools
Not to be dissuaded, Kiar responded with a letter of his own and pointed out that Public Health Ontario’s Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases categorizes “Higher Risk Sexual Behaviour” as “sexual practices that may cause bleeding or abrasions, resulting in blood to blood contact between participants.” He argued that because this kind of high-risk behaviour was being promoted by Youthline, the site was not safe for any child and therefore should not be accessible through the UCDSB website.
The link was eventually removed from the school board website. When contacted for comment, The UCDSB said that it removed all external links from their LGBTQ+ resources section because they couldn’t control the content of other website.
“I can confirm that the link was removed from the website during the last refresh of this page, but the phone number, text number and description of the organization does remain. It’s difficult for us to monitor content on third-party sites and to ensure it is maintained up to date and relevant so we removed the link. We know that our students have greater access to phone and texting [and the] internet outside of school, so we felt it important to keep those resources on the website,” a spokesperson told The Post Millennial.
So the link is gone, but phone number for Youthline remains. What type of counselling or advice will children receive when they call this number?
Has anyone bothered to find out?
The Post Millennial reached out to sex researcher Dr. Debra Soh who said, “There is definitely value to sex education in the classroom, and as someone who is sex-positive, I think it’s especially important that young people are exposed to science-based information regarding safer sex practices. There is, however, a way to do this in an appropriate manner, say, by using medical and scientific terminology and resources. Adults can use whatever materials they’d like for self-education. Graphic descriptions of sex are not appropriate in an educational setting involving minors. Topics like consent, contraception, and STIs are important, but it’s inappropriate and unnecessary for children to be exposed to them in the context of sex work.”
A family located in another Ontario school district contacted me earlier in the school year. They were in a state of shock because one of their child’s classmates had presented a book report on the 18+ graphic novel/movie “Blue is the Warmest Colour.” It’s a romance story about two lesbians and contains several sexually explicit scenes. This was in a Grade 5 class; the kids are 9-10 years old. It wasn’t that long ago that minor children with knowledge of sexual activity considered to be “beyond their years” were a cause for concern—even reason for a phone call to child services.
What would have happened, I wonder, had the content of the story been a heterosexual romance with, according to the reviews, “lots of explicit sex”? If we remove the opportunity to shame others for being “homophobic” and look at the evidence objectively, what do we learn?
Canadian society is one of the most inclusive and accepting in the world, and our schools have taken the inclusion mandate to heart and allowed it to permeate every aspect of school life. We want to believe that people are acting in the best interests of children, but increasingly, we also need to question whether appropriate safeguarding boundaries are in place. When “inclusion” extends to sexual or gender identities, licence is given to teach even very young children about sexual practices and attractions which form the basis of those identities.
But there’s a social cost to these lessons that is only just beginning to be understood, and it’s being borne by kids. In whose best interest is it to promote to children through our public education system that everyone has a gender identity, for example?
No one understands why the rate of adolescent girls being referred to gender clinics is increasing at an exponential rate across the western world. Yet teachers are using resources in their classrooms that are known to promote medicalization of gender non-conformity—just watch the whole series of these Queer Kids videos to see for yourself.
The Queer Kids video my daughter’s Grade 1 teacher used in the class taught kids that they might feel like a girl, a boy, or perhaps not have a gender at all. The Teddy bear sidekick helps young children feel safe and comfortable while Lindsay explains how people can use pronouns to identify their gender based on how they feel.
The video series also covers the topic of medical transitioning. Teddy is joined by a number of guests to talk about “top” and “bottom” surgery and using hormone blockers to “stop estrogen or testosterone.” At one point, Teddy has trouble pronouncing “testosterone” in a cutesy kind of way. Surely proof that the creators of these videos have the best intentions of children at heart.
The purported objective of Ontario’s Inclusive Education Strategy is to create schools that are safe and inclusive for all. There’s growing evidence, however, that Inclusive Education is not at all about tolerance and acceptance of those who are different, but instead is being used to impose a new social justice mandate by stealth or, once parents start waking up, blunt force.
Parents are not informed of these lessons because they’re delivered under the guise of “inclusive education.” Teachers don’t have to document lesson plans because these kinds of lessons are considered “teaching moments.”
If the teaching objective is acceptance and “inclusivity,” then the message and teaching resources being used would focus on anti-bullying and kindness. Instead, the lessons and variety of teaching tools used in my daughter’s classroom were clearly designed to reprogram the children’s sense of who they are: their personal identity.
There’s a great deception going on.
Our education system is using an agenda with obvious public support; anti-bullying; to introduce sexually-explicit content and impose a new ideology of personal identity. The Inclusivity mandate, unchecked as it is, provides the perfect cover for teachers and third party groups who want to circumvent normal policies and instead present pedagogically inappropriate content and resources.
Even if the school board leadership didn’t want to promote these “social justice missions,” it seems the Inclusivity and Equity policy has been created in such a way that our educators can’t even differentiate pedagogically appropriate content any longer. As their inclusivity champion, the UCDSB Superintendent pointed out in his letter that the sexual education resources available through the board-promoted links were no more explicit than “the range of materials available to everybody through a simple Google search.”
Is the porn available through a Google search the new inclusivity standard our public educators believe they’re being held to?
Safeguarding practices require that we know what the boundaries are and when they’ve been crossed. In their blind pursuit of inclusivity, the politburo behind our education system seems to have forgotten their duty to protect the most vulnerable people in society—children.