Trustees in several Catholic school boards have sought delay of the curriculum until lessons can be prepared to teach the new program through what Cardinal Thomas Collins has called “the Catholic lens.” The Institute for Catholic Education announced on June 1 that resources it is developing at the request of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario will not be ready until October and will be rolled out throughout the school year. Some trustees wonder whether they will be ready for the new school year.
On June 10, trustees Angela Kennedy and Garry Tanuan had asked the Toronto Catholic District School Board to delay implementation of the curriculum but their motion failed in an 8-4 vote after board lawyers warned trustees that they have a “legal obligation to comply with provincial (curriculum choices) and not to do so would be unlawful.”
On June 3, the Halton Catholic District School Board voted 5-4 to defeat Anthony Danko’s motion to put off implementation of the curriculum in September. Danko said the curriculum contradicts Catholic moral teaching, but board chair Jane Michael, who cast the deciding vote, said she was told by her bishop that the curriculum is fine and was given legal advice that the trustees had no choice but implement the Ministry’s new curriculum.
At the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board meeting on June 3, long-time trustee Kathleen Rosilius could not even get a seconder for her motion to debate whether to delay implementation. She told The Interim, “I’m disappointed that not one other trustee present at the meeting even wanted to debate the sex-ed curriculum.”
Meanwhile, the Kenora Miner and Daily News reported that Phyllis Eikre, the director of education for the Kenora Catholic School Board, said there would be no problem with the separate schools teaching the new curriculum while remaining true to their Catholic faith, but offered no specifics on how the two would be reconciled.
Barb Holland, chair of the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board of trustees, told the Windsor Star there was no reason to consider delaying the sex-ed curriculum. Saying that Catholic schools have long taught sexual education, she endorsed the updated curriculum: “The benefit of what is being added is good and timely.”
Jim Hughes of Campaign Life Coalition stated, “the hypocritical Premier Wynne is carrying out the most extreme form of bullying against the parents and their children.”
Campaign Life Coalitions analysis of the Sex Ed program HERE