For immediate release
OTTAWA, ON – December 14, 2018 – Today, Pflag Canada – a national charitable LGBTQ2 support, resource and advocacy organization – submitted a report to the Government of Ontario containing the results of its province-wide “Have Your Say” community consultation that launched in early November. Pflag’s extensive campaign aimed to solicit feedback from the community about the Health & Physical Education curriculum in Ontario as part of the Province’s “For the Parents” initiative, advocating for a relevant and inclusive curriculum.
The organization received impassioned responses from Thunder Bay to Cornwall to Sarnia. In total, 398 responses were received, representing views from 499 individuals from across Ontario and 23 local Pflag chapters (select submissions were sent on behalf of one or more individuals).
The stories shared with Pflag were heart-felt, and at times heartbreaking. Woven through all of the stories shared was a consistent and fundamental theme: Ontario families are incredibly diverse, and our school communities need to ensure that all families and all students are welcomed, included, and safe.
“The curriculum is the foundation that makes this possible, and it must teach respect and acceptance from day one,” advocated Pflag Canada President Bev Belanger. “This includes respect and acceptance for families with LGBTQ2 children or parents. These families know that being LGBTQ2 is normal, natural, and valid. This simple message is always age-appropriate, and it is critical to reassure students, increase acceptance, and reduce bullying. It must be in the new Health & Physical Education curriculum, and it must not be delayed.”
The current 1998 curriculum is outdated and leaves out several topics that are relevant to supporting our LGBTQ2 kids, their mental health and well-being, and their safety. This includes topics like the understanding of gender and sexual diversity, consent, cyber-bullying and developing the tools to tackle the challenges and important realities that our kids face in 2018.
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About Pflag Canada:
Pflag Canada is a national charitable organization, founded by parents who wished to help themselves and their family members understand and accept their LGBTQ2 children. We support these families through today, and give them hope for a better tomorrow. Uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ2) with families, friends, and allies, Pflag is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy.