Editor’s Note: This story contains graphic content.
Toronto’s public health agency developed graphic sex education resources to assist teachers in delivering Ontario’s health and physical education curriculum, The Interim has discovered. Toronto Public Health’s website contains three sets of lesson plans: Teaching Puberty: You Can Do It! for Grades 5 to 6, Grade 7/8 Sexual Health Curriculum, and High School Sexual Health Curriculum for grades 9 to12. There is also a set of training videos intended for Grade 4-6 teachers.
The lesson plans, which include curriculum, videos, and pamphlets, are part of Public Health’s “Sexual Health Resources for Teachers” under its Healthy Schools initiative.
The puberty lessons go beyond the current ministry expectations. Students from Grade 5 to 6 are instructed about how to clean an uncircumcised penis and also are given information about orgasms, “wet” and “damp dreams,” as well as masturbation. “Children of both sexes are also introduced to the anatomy of a vulva and instructed about pads and tampons. Boys are to be exposed to a discussion about penis size and appearance. In the boys’ session video for Grades 4 to 6, instructor Renee Boi-Doku, of the School of Nursing at York University, shows a 3D model comparing the shapes and sizes of different penises side by side.
Masturbation “is something that people of all ages and genders may choose to do,” says the Grade 5 to 6 document. “Self-pleasuring is a personal choice and it is done in private. It is not harmful; it is common and it is one way of learning about the body.” In the video, young girls are told by presenter Ann Barrett, a “sexual health educator” with Toronto Public Health, that they can masturbate using their clitoris. In a Grade 7 quiz, students find out that “babies touch their genitals. Children do too. They do it because it feels good, but eventually learn not to do it in public.”
When using a question box to answer anonymous questions from Grade 5 to 6 students, teachers are advised to answer even the more graphic questions. “If inappropriate slang is used, instead of reading out, ‘why do people suck dick?’ restate the question: ‘This question is asking about oral sex.’ Then answer the question,” the resource states. This approach is modelled in the video series for the question as the video title has it, “What is a blow job?”
During the demonstration of the first puberty class session on the video resource, presenter Kim Martyn, a “sexual health educator” with Toronto Public Health, states, “ask the class what people need to consider before having a baby. This chat reassures parents and other adults who think that by talking about sex we’re encouraging kids to run out and do it.” In the Grade 5 to 6 resource, children are taught that they can become parents by “parenting a partner’s children,” using “assisted reproductive technologies,” and through “surrogacy.” The video resource also discusses how teachers should approach the question, “what does sex feel like?” First, the teacher must define what kind of sex is meant, oral, anal, or vaginal. Martyn states that “if two people feel ready…sex can be a terrific thing for them” and explains how the genitals are impacted: “It’s kind of like a sneeze between your knees.”
In a Grade 8 quiz, when talking about sexual activity, teachers are told to discuss oral sex, “as it is more common for teens than intercourse.” One activity is to make an “intimacy continuum” ranking a list of activities in order of intimacy. After a wet kiss, the next steps are: “Touching over clothes,” “touching under clothes,” self and mutual masturbation, oral sex, and then vaginal sex.
Birth control is also promoted. Grade 7 students are instructed on how to use condoms, complete with a demonstration on a wooden dowel, banana, or the teacher’s two fingers. In a Grade 7 quiz, students find out that “mutual masturbation” is safe because they cannot contract sexually transmitted infections. Teens are told to avoid “higher risk activities” to stop getting STIs, but “if you do have higher risk activities, reduce the risk by using condoms every time.” A chart comparing birth control methods is included under the Grade 8 portion. In the appendix, students are referred to “sexual health clinics” where they can get free condoms, birth control prescriptions, and cheaper Plan B. They are also informed that their parents do not need to know if they get a prescription for birth control. Students using condoms or withdrawal should keep some spare Plan B., which is described as “very safe,” in their room in case their preferred birth control method fails. High school students are encouraged to apply their knowledge by recommending a birth control method for couples to use in three case studies.
Abortion is not left out either. One of the Grade 4 to 6 videos purports to answer the question whether abortion is wrong. In the introduction, Anu Sharma states that it is a “moral” question, but that the answer must be “factual;” Sharma encourages teachers to avoid making moral judgements when presenting “the facts.” Presenter Marina MacDougall of Toronto Public Health, then briefly describes abortion. It is “something the woman decides to do with the help of a doctor” and she “has little chance of developing health problems in the future as a result of the abortion.” MacDougall concludes, “you will hear different opinions about abortion and part of growing up is making decisions about what you think is okay and not okay.”
In Grade 7, while reading a “choose your own adventure” story, students are advised that if the protagonist gets pregnant, she can have an abortion without her parents knowing. In Grade 8, abortion is classified as a type of birth control. It is emphasized throughout the Grade 7 and 8 curriculum that abortion is legal and free. In a high school scenario on how to advise a friend (“Carrie”) who is pregnant, students are told to direct her to a “sexual health clinic” where the counsellor “will give her all the information she needs to make a decision.” In response to students with “strong ideas about abortion,” the teacher should say that “abortion is legal, safe and covered OHIP (sic). This class is not a forum for debating whether the law should be changed, but an opportunity for students to get all the information they need.”
The gay agenda permeates the entire set of documents. The curriculum resource takes pains to specify same-sex and opposite-sex attractions and sex acts. In Grades 5 to 6, the teacher uses two cartoons of babies and invites the students to guess their sex, later showing the genitalia so that the correct answer may be determined. The teacher then tells the students that sex cannot be identified except from the genitalia and explains transgenderism: “Sometimes as a child grows up, they may feel that their sex (based on their genitals) and their gender (based on their brain) do not match.” This leads to mention of the other terms used in gender theory.
In the Grade 4 to 6 video “Is it okay to be gay?,” presenter Herbert Co, the Toronto Public Health supervisor for Community Project Grants, states that homosexuals can use their hands, mouth, and any body part to have sex. He also states that most scientists are of the opinion that people are born gay. “Most people are not a hundred per cent gay or a hundred per cent straight,” Co states matter-of-factly. In the Grade 7 quiz, students are told that gender experimentation is normal.
Toronto Public Health thus seems to be yet another avenue for the moral indoctrination of students.