In Ontario, Sex Ed Is A Hot Button Campaign Issue, But Here’s Why It’s So Much More Than That And Should Be Left Alone

It is a truth often painful for parents to acknowledge: our children, lawt help us, will one day reach an age of their choosing and become sexual beings.

The sex-ed curriculum implemented by the Ontario Liberals in 2015 may not be perfect, but for many kids it’s better than not hearing about the mechanics and implications from their parents. Not every parent is like me, who stood up at the kitchen table armed with condoms and bananas, eliciting embarrassed laughter from my older kids.

The if we don’t tell them and hopefully they remain ignorant approach is foolhardy and presupposes a level of immaturity that sells kids short. They will figure it out, purity rings and waltzes with their fathers be damned.

If you want to protect your children from the dangers of sex, here are some suggestions:

1) Teach your sons and daughters not to commit sexual assault. That no means no, regardless of when their partner says it.

2) Teach your sons and daughters that they have the right to say no to any act that makes them uneasy or uncomfortable.

3) Teach that sexual abuse from anyone, priest, parent, relative, or other predator; is wrong. Make sure your children know they can come to you when something happens, without further physical or emotional abuse from you.

4) If you can’t be that person in your child’s life, then someone else will. And it’s going to happen either in the classroom, or on the school yard. As the adult you need to choose wisely and out of fairness for your child that honours his or her autonomy and personhood at every age.

5) And while by no means an afterthought, if your older children don’t know the names Rehtaeh Parsons and Amanda Todd, to mention just two, then they probably should.

Ultimately, however, this post is my plea and call to arms, that little is done to tamper with the current programming in Ontario’s elementary and secondary schools, by whoever forms the next provincial government.

Stumped, And Stumping For Change

Going into Saturday’s rigamarole of a PCPO Leadership Convention, I had just enough respect mustered for my local MPP because she was a woman in politics, if a bit benign as far as change makers go. And, frankly, her party does not represent me.

It honestly confuses me how a female politician – herself a mother – from the suburbs of Ottawa found common ground with the hash-dealing huckster who is now the PCPO leader, so I have to ask, what did he promise you? Do you really think he’ll deliver? Did he …

GAH.

My adult son asked me once why I never sought political office. Well, I was never chosen as a parent volunteer at any of my kids’ schools, despite dutifully filling out the form at the start of every school year. Except for that one time someone bailed out of her shift at the annual Scholastic Book Fair and I got a call at the last possible minute. That sets a certain tone. And when I get riled enough, I tend towards what the husband calls a scorched earth policy. Look, I can play well with others, but unquestionably on my own terms.

So while I won’t be running for office this spring, or at any other juncture; I think it is time for me to throw my dusty mantel around the shoulders of a candidate who is neither Lib Red nor PC Blue. Help that person get his or her word out. Hammer signs on lawns. Help cuddle babies. Pet dogs on the street while my two floofers tussle on their leashes and try to tug me past.

See, the child in the photo is my granddaughter. She deserves better of her elected officials than what we have on offer. She and her generation are, in this case, totally and unreservedly deserving of their entitlement.

Onward, my fellow soldiers.

The Morning After Another Provincial Election

(Updated on 8 Oct 2011)

Another provincial election has come and gone, and following a pitiful 48% 49.2% voter turnout (as reported by one of my Tweeps) (with one wondering from whence the .2% comes), the Liberals are back in power at Queen’s Park for a third consecutive 4-year term.

Okay, so it’s a minority government. But not by much: CTV News declared that incumbent Premier Dalton McGuinty fell just one seat short of a majority government.

For all the complaining that people do about their provincial or federal elected officials, my question to you is: where were you on Election Day? It’s not as though you weren’t provided with ample opportunities to cast your ballot at any one of the Advance Polling Stations. Elections Ontario even posted an Accessibility Action Plan on its Web site, ensuring that everyone could exercise their right to vote be it by “special ballots, home visits and assistive voting technologies.”

With all of those options in place, I’m not sure what more could have been done to ensure that folks got out there. “Apathy” and “elections” seem to go together as inextricably as peanut butter and jelly in a sandwich. But why?

It seems awfully clear to me that if we don’t stand up and choose the type of government we want, we get the government that we deserve.

How sad.

We can do better than that.

We have to.

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Being Friday, I thought I would provide a little levity: