The LGBT Youth Line is deeply concerned about Minister of Education Lisa Thompson’s July 11th announcement that the provincial government will revert the Health and Physical Education curriculum to the 1998 standards, and the ministry’s earlier announcement that they will be canceling revisions to the curriculum aimed at more accurately reflecting Indigenous histories and experiences.
The 2015 Health and Physical Education curriculum was developed after consultations with a large number of stakeholders, including youth, parents, and members of a wide range of faith-based groups. Reverting back to a curriculum that was developed 20 years ago will undoubtedly threaten the safety and well-being of students, especially queer, trans, and two-spirit youth.
The Health and Physical Education curriculum offers young people many lifelong tools, some of which are related to sexual health. The 2015 curriculum introduces conversations related to online safety, cyberbullying, consent and communication. It ensures that 2SLGBTQ identities are included and seen as part of our society.
Reverting back to the 1998 curriculum will mean:
LGBT Youth Line has been working directly with 2SLGBTQ youth across Ontario and understands how vital it is for youth to be able to make informed choices. Reverting back to the 1998 Health and Physical Education curriculum, and denying the long overdue and necessary updates to the curriculum to include Indigenous perspectives, will negatively impact the mental health of young people, and increases the chances of isolation, bullying and harassment for queer, trans and two-spirit youth.
As a result of these changes, LGBT Youth Line will join other community organizations and concerned members of our communities to educate the public about these regressive changes. If you’d like to be involved please visit www.wehaveyourbackontario.org to stay in touch. You can also help by sharing information about the Health and Physical Education curriculum, and contacting your local MPP to share your views on the recent changes. Contact info for MPPs can be found here: https://www.ola.org/en/members
LGBT Youth Line has had the back of 2SLGBTQ youth for over 24 years, and we’re still here beside you.
Our peer support service is available for 2SLGBTQ youth across Ontario from Sunday to Friday from 4 – 9:30 pm. Young people can call, text, email, or chat with us through www.youthline.ca.
Media inquiries can be directed to Berkha Gupta, Executive Director of LGBT Youth Line. They can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-962-2232 ext 224 or 416-720-2453