Sexuality education is a form of education that takes various dimensions of human experience into account and covers a variety of subjects: knowledge of the body, body image, gender stereotypes, romantic feelings, etc.
It enables students to:
- better understand themselves
- establish emotional relationships that show respect for themselves and others
- develop critical thinking and good judgment along with a sense of responsibility
- have a better understanding of sexuality
- reflect on issues such as messages about sexuality disseminated in the public space, gender stereotypes and the uses of social media
- be less vulnerable to problems such as:
- sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs)
- sexual assault
- unplanned pregnancies
- develop attitudes and skills that will be useful to them now and in the future (respect for diversity, self-knowledge and self-affirmation, conflict resolution skills)
The new sexuality education curriculum, mandated by the Ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur, follows six themes and is split into the following categories:
- Sexual growth and body image (appears in kindergarten through sec. 1)
- Pregnancy and birth (appears in kindergarten and grade 3)
- Identity, gender stereotypes and roles, and social norms (appears in grade 1 through sec. 3)
- Sexual assault (appears in grades 1, 3, & 5)
- General understanding of sexuality (appears in grade 1 through sec.5)
- Emotional and romantic life (appears in grade 2 through sec. 5)
- Sexual violence (appears in sec. 2)
- STBBIs and pregnancy (appears in sec. 2 through sec. 5)
- Sexual Behavior (appears in sec. 2 through sec. 4)
These teachings incorporate values as set forth by the governments of Canada and Québec, including Equality, Diversity, and Inclusiveness. This is fact-based instruction, not religious.
- Elementary students will receive 5-10 hours of instruction per year, while secondary students will received 10-15 hours per year
- The kindergarten portion is optional
- Children will not be formally tested on the information
- The school board will provide a template to the schools but each school will be responsible for its own implementation; the principal will ensure the curriculum is being followed and the school team will deliver the majority of the content; the principal will bring the plan to the governing board for approval
- Nurses will be responsible for the heavy content in grades 5 and sec. 3
- Spiritual animators and librarians have also been prepared
- Parents are encouraged to expand upon and reframe the content as needed
- Riverview elementary piloted the curriculum, thus allowing the LBPSB to make suggestions regarding the curriculum and its implementation
- The government only provided French information; the LBPSB worked to find its own sources in English, many of which are online and free
- On June 20th community partners will be briefed on the curriculum and their roles will be defined; nurses from CIUSSS will be giving presentations in grade 5 and sec. 3
- Training for high school content will be in June with training for elementary school given in August; the Ministère will also provide an online webinar in English in the Fall
- All teachers and administration currently have access to the lesson plans, and resources should be available by the end of Summer
Steps for concerned parents:
- Contact: Voice your concerns to the appropriate authority which is MEES https://joindre.education.gouv.qc.ca/an/index_an.php. Please remember that this is a government-mandated curriculum; the LBPSB has no control over what must be taught.
- Research: Visit the MEES website (links below) to see what will be taught and in which grades. More information will be made available over the course of the summer, at which time you will be able to determine exactly which lessons you would like to address.
- Inform yourself: At the beginning of the school year, find out who your governing board parent representatives are and let them know that you would like them to make communication one of the prerequisites of passing the curriculum plan, especially when dealing with sensitive or provocative topics, wherever possible (please remember that it is just not feasible to be informed in advance for every single topic, and communication after the fact is acceptable in most cases).
- Be present: Present yourself at the governing board meeting where the curriculum plan will be offered for approval; you will be given a chance to speak at the ‘Questions from the public’ portion.
- Follow-up: If communication was agreed upon when the curriculum plan was passed, follow up with your governing board to ensure it is being done.
For more information:
The LBPSB PC hosted a session on May 10, 2018 with Marie-Eve Claude, LBPSB Assistant Director of Student Services, to speak to the LBPSB parent community about the implementation of the Sexuality Education program into next year's curriculum. Marie-Eve was the LBPSB lead on the Sexuality Education Pilot Program at LBPSB and is primarily responsible for this implementation. See some questions and answers that came out of that session.