Press Room

Education Minister gives school boards permission to take away parental opt-out rights

Toronto, ON, Sep. 9, 2015 -   In a shocking about-face, the Liberal Education Minister gave individual Ontario school boards permission to remove the right of parents to opt their child out of controversial sex-ed lessons. During a media scrum yesterday, Minister Sandals was explicitly asked by a reporter if parents would be allowed religious accommodation for any sex-ed lesson they deem to be controversial or age-inappropriate: “Are there any sections that religious accommodations won't apply to, that they won't be granted for?", the reporter questioned. 

Sandals replied in a manner that made it clear the government is sanctioning school boards to eliminate parental opt-out rights: “As I said, the individual boards have their policies and the individual boards will make their decisions consistent with their particular policies”.  

This statement by Sandals breaks the promise she made in February when Liberals unveiled the new sex curriculum to huge uproar from thousands of parents. At the time, she attempted to quell protests by assuring parents that they had the right to opt out their kids.  “It’s actually in the Education Act that a parent has the right to withdraw their child from content they don’t want their child to receive,” Sandals said in an interview with the National Post at that time. 

“Premier Wynne and Minister Sandals have been deceiving parents all along. This is a scandal. They ought to resign over this appalling dishonesty and encroachment on parental rights”, explained Mary Ellen Douglas, Ontario President of Campaign Life Coalition.  Douglas continued, “Let’s be clear. This announcement means that the Liberal government has officially sanctioned school boards to take away parental rights, if they so desire.”                        

“The Wynne government has admitted that it was lying to parents all this time about being able to withdraw their children from any sex-ed lesson with which they disagree. The Liberals are waging war against parents”, said  Jack Fonseca, Project Manager for Campaign Life Coalition. “Not only does this violate parental rights, it assaults their basic human and constitutional rights, which protect freedom of religion and conscience”, Fonseca added. 

The curriculum will teach 8 year olds that being a boy or a girl is not necessarily related to their physical anatomy. In Grade 6, children may be encouraged to masturbate as a “pleasurable” vehicle for self-discovery, and by Grade 7, the curriculum will introduce 12-year-olds to the topics of anal intercourse, oral sex and “sexual pleasure”.  A FOI request revealed that the Liberal “parental consultation” was a sham, and parents did not assent to this content.

Campaign Life Coalition urges parents to protest against the government’s attempt to co-opt parental authority, and take alternative actions including homeschooling or private schooling, strategies called for by the Canadian Families Alliance.

About Campaign Life Coalition
Campaign Life Coalition is a national, non-profit organization involved in political action and advocacy for legal and cultural change in Canada with respect to protecting human life and the family. It is non-partisan and encourages voting based on principles, not party. For more information

Media Contacts:
Jack Fonseca, Campaign Life Coalition, Tel: 416-204-9781   Email: [email protected]
Mary Ellen Douglas, Campaign Life Coalition, Tel: 613-329-1488   Email: [email protected]