Canada’s capital is undertaking one of the biggest infrastructure projects in its history: Light Rail Transit. As expected costs have been climbing. They are now reportedly over two billion. Yet this enormous, world class taxpayer-funded project has no public washrooms along the route factored into its design or its budget. That’s right. Until the GottaGo campaign pointed this out to the citizenry in the nation’s capital, this colossal oversight was hidden in plain view.
First came the obvious jokes on the subject, then some media acknowledgement and then the public became engaged. As the news became known, most people were quite surprised that this was deliberately left out and continues to be left out. How can the plan focus only on getting people somewhere without considering their needs? It took a middle-aged, keen-eye woman to point out the reality of LRT as it would be experienced in everyday life, once the whole project would be completed.
Can we turn to ordinary folk to see what other lofty plans look like in the cold harsh light of reality? Well, let’s discuss the expertly designed sex education curriculum in Ontario.
Parents have expressed serious reservations about how the curriculum will have a pre-ordained roll out of sexually charged information. This is not a biology lesson in reproduction with all the wonders of the human body explained appropriately at reasonable ages. It is not the health lesson explaining STIs. Parents are not objecting with having lessons on cyber bullying or on why not to sext.
The sex-ed program, introduces concepts like gender fluidity at a grade 3 level, meaning that having a vagina doesn’t make you a girl. It is one that will talk about masturbation and facilitate the how-to discussion for 11-year-old boys and girls.
This incredible change has naturally upset many parents. The more they know, the more they object.
What has escaped the experts in their deliberations, their plans and their purpose is the reality of the classroom. How can the plan focus only on getting people somewhere without considering the reality involved in getting there?
Do these experts pre-suppose that the classroom is a static, orderly academic environment in grade school and through high school so that lectures and lessons can be given with a quasi-university seriousness? Well, parents know that there are some children who still wet their beds in grade three. There are children who believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. There are autistic and other special needs children in class rooms who contribute to the dynamic of a class room and to the work of a teacher. Every day, there are teachers in those classrooms who are working with children who have found out today, that mom is leaving or dad isn’t coming back. Or that someone is dying. Teachers are incorporating healthy eating and exercising with saving the planet. They are recycling, reviewing, re-teaching, reminding and let’s not forget, re-acting to those in their charge. Teaching is an exhausting and demanding profession that most of us stand in awe of.
But it is not parenting. It is a complementary role. It is a necessary role. Good parents and good teachers, for the most part, are grateful for each other.
Still for too long, there have been teachers in both the Catholic and Public Boards, who have taken it upon themselves to educate their students away from their family’s values. They have anointed themselves saviours in the battle for the heart not just the mind of their students. In the hands of these teachers, many parents are extremely concerned about the sex ed curriculum that repeatedly encourages students to talk to a trusted peer or adult but never mentions talking to their parents.
So we have a shiny newly designed modern sex-education curriculum in Ontario. Eventually, more parents will recognize this curriculum’s built-in lack of parental discernment for this sensitive and mature subject. Eventually they will recognize the complete disrespect experts have for the parental role.
Parental awareness may not increase through a large public rally. It may not happen through a petition signing blitz. It will happen when the cement has dried on this public education project. One day the work will be accidently brought home or the topic brought up while tucking a child in with the bedtime kiss. Then, once again, a middle-aged mom (or dad) will see what has been hidden in plain sight. By then however, will the cost have been too high?