Canadian News Jul 6, 2021 4:55 PM EST

Ontario to add human and sex trafficking to its grade school curriculum in 2022

The F0rd government has announced that sex and human trafficking will be a part of the elementary school curriculum starting in Janaury 2022.

Ontario to add human and sex trafficking to its grade school curriculum in 2022
Brendan Boucher Ottawa, ON
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The Ford  government will mandate that schools teach children about sex and human trafficking starting in January 2022 and have a strategy to protect student from sex and human trafficking. The new policy also calls for further staff training and supports for those who may be at risk or victims of trafficking.

The Keeping Students Safe – Policy Framework for School Board Anti-Sex Trafficking Protocols sets up a list of goals for school boards to combat potential sex trafficking among students. The information will be worked into the Health and Physical Education portion of the curriculum. To support the initiative Ontario is investing $2.4 million into training and resources.

The new efforts boards must take to protect students include, "Raising awareness and understanding of sex trafficking, including the urgency and complexity of combating sex trafficking. Supporting procedures for students who are at risk or being sex trafficked, or who may be grooming and recruiting other students.
Training school board employees, educators and administrators and other school staff. Establishing approaches to support accountability and evaluation."

The school boards must also commit to raising awareness by, "learning related to sex trafficking in the elementary Health and Physical Education curriculum...
Funding the development of online educator resources and classroom resources focused on the prevention of sexual exploitation of children and youth.
Developing Ontario’s Human Trafficking Digital Education Tool: The Trap, and Speak Out: Stop Sex Trafficking, an Indigenous-focused awareness campaign."

The announcement was made by Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General, Jane McKenna, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues, Sam Oosterhoff, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education, Daisy Wai, MPP for Richmond Hill, and Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, who were joined by Casandra Diamond, Founder and Director of BridgeNorth Women’s Mentorship & Advocacy Service.

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