On January 9, Huffington Post Canada announced,
Toronto students T essa Hill and Lia Valente, both 13, have started a Change.org petition as part of “We Give Consent,” a campaign calling on the province to include teachings about consensual sex in the Ontario Health Curriculum.
and the Change.org petition, “Make Consent a Topic in the 2015 Ontario Health Curriculum,” arrived in my inbox today:
The petition begins,
We Give Consent is a campaign by us, Lia and Tessa, two grade 8 girls in Toronto Canada. Our goal is to get the topic of consent in the Ontario Health Curriculum in schools.
It includes clear, detailed explanations for why we should sign this petition “to put consent as a topic in the new Ontario Health Curriculum.” Lia and Tessa plan to share the petition “with the Minister of Education Liz Sandals & Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne,” and according to the “We Give Consent” Facebook page, Premier Wynne thanked Lia and Tessa and the “We Give Consent” community for “their important work.”
As the petition points out
The current Ontario Health Curriculum is being used in schools was created in 1998! So much has changed since then and this outdated curriculum does not include anything about consent. It teaches abstinence instead of properly teaching comprehensive sexual health education that includes safer sex and the importance of consent during sex. The entire curriculum is 222 pages long and does not include a single thing about affirmative consent.
The “new curriculum is in its final draft stages.” Please help Lia and Tessa support Kathleen Wynne’s “decision” to include “consent ” in the new Ontario Health Curriculum. Please sign the petition!
While I support teaching about the topic of consent (even to people legally banned from giving it), I cannot support something so blatantly sexist. Boys’ consent is just as important as girls’, and is probably the most important topic to discuss, since nobody ever does.
Further, the petition weaselly sneaks in the dangerous concept of “affirmative consent” under the banner of “don’t blame victims”. That’s a second reason I could never sign this petition, but would instead actively oppose it.
Good post Veronica. I just signed the petition.