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Society for Quality Education

Big Brother Is watching over your kids - Or is it Big Sister?

September 28, 2011 by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) at 04:45 AM

Here's an update for those who have been following the Ontario government's attempts to introduce a comprehensive and very explicit sex education curriculum (background here and here). According to the Institute for Canadian Values, the curriculum is being reworked as we speak and will be released some time after the October 6 election. In the meantime, however, some school boards, such as the Toronto and Hamilton public boards, have gone ahead and integrated mandatory sexual diversity instruction. Here are a few quotes from the Toronto board's JK-Grade 3 curriculum, according to the Institute's full-page ad in the National Post a few days ago. 

  • "Read some traditional folk tales and fairy tales with the class. Have students write/illustrate their own 'gender-bending' versions." (p. 44)
  • "Read Gloria Goes to Gay Pride. If this storybook is not available, cut out a photo from a newspaper or magazine of the Pride Parade." (p. 56)
  • "Encourage girls and boys to role-play opposite roles ... At times boys may play girls and rely on sexist stereotypical behaviour with which they are familiar." (p. 37)

Call me a "right-wing reactionary homophobe" (the term applied to opponents of this sort of sex ed by homosexual Liberal minister Glen Murray), but I still cling to the notion of letting kids be kids - sparing them this kind of brainwashing at their tender age. I really don't think it's a good idea to confuse kindergarten students about their gender identity or encourage them to start thinking that they might be gay.

Lesbian Liberal minister Kathleen Wynne recently confirmed the government's commitment to sexual diversity instruction. The Institute's web-site has a petition you can sign if you disagree.

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Comments

Yes, why at such a young age?  Leave the little ones alone!  Concentrating on literacy and numeracy skills is the best thing that teachers can do for children.  They’re always getting side-tracked, and it shows in our children’s lack of skills.  Why can’t they make skills their primary focus?  If they feel that they must teach children to be open-minded and accepting, wait till they’re more mature.  I also think that getting a handle on the terrible bullying situation would send children a clear message of how they should be treating others far better!

Posted by Bev on 09/28 at 08:21 AM

I would pull my children out, and they have no idea the social ramifications, the confusion, and the implication that gays have more rights than the rest of us. One of the reasons, for Pink Shirt Day going away from schools, is the emphasis is on the gays.The original goal of Pink Shirt Day has been lost to the gays and their agenda. Currently, according to the chatter, gays are the ones becoming the bullies, and taunting students to swing first. Than they can play the victim. I blame this on the terrible equality policies, that really does make some have more rights than others. And gays have become high status symbols within the school culture, where other students have to tend with the ramifications of gays taking offense over anything. In my 30s, I had a chat with two gays, that were willing to answer my questions, and we had a long talk to the wee hours of morning.
As gays have received rights under the law, such as no longer should they be discriminated against, the gay community has developed a problem with bullies among their ranks. Causing a lot of problems between their own community, as well as outside the community.

I bet the large majority of gays would object as well, to this type of exposure for younger children. Gender-bending stories, I believe will not promote understanding, in the same way as trying to understand the viewpoint of a blind person. As for the Gay Pride, it only indicates what the priorities are in the education system, leaving out a great many other issues and attention. One will never the celebration of LD or dyslexics, or the celebration of students who overcome great obstacles. It is one thing to correct the misconceptions of gay people within an education system, but why does the education system for the most part, does not bother to correct the many misconceptions of people with disabilities.  When a gay student is complaining, asked them how they would like to have the label of dumb attached to them, throughout the years of K to 12? I can tell you, it is very difficult to break out and remove that label.

Kids should be kids, sorting out the everyday things that promote differences, and the same differences becomes the insults. In the typical income levels, and across income levels, a common insult is to level the accusation of your parents are on welfare, or white trash. Parents have enough to deal with on that front, and they do not more values being imposed from the schools that adds more problems. No wonder the bully policies are not working for anyone, and the new sex education policies will only serve to separate and divide people into their opposing camps, just like the SE policies separates and divide people into their opposing camps.

Posted by Nancy on 09/28 at 09:19 AM

Interesting timing for this topic.  If anyone watched CNN last night, they would have seen the interview with a grade 10 student whose younger brother recently committed suicide because of the extreme bullying he faced in school simply because he was gay.  The school’s homecoming dance was scheduled the evening of the brother’s funeral.  Her parents encouraged her to go to try to brighten her mood.  At the dance, she was asked to say a few words to the students there.  The same students who bullied her brother started shouting things like, “Glad he’s dead”, and “Took long enough”.

You may not be aware, but every year the Ontario MOE asks students to complete a school environment survey online.  If you read The Star last spring, you may have run across an article that reported some of the results.  For students who identified themselves as something other heterosexual, they reported that the place they felt most afraid was their school.

Furthermore, you may also not be aware, but high schools have an awareness week.  The students in our school put up posters asking for tolerance and understanding.  The vile graffiti scrawled across them would be equivalent to writing the ‘N’ word on posters advertising the Afro-centric school.

If you think that junior elementary is too young, think again.  From music videos to advertisments on TV, to shows like ‘Toddlers in Tiaras’ it ought to be obvious that our young children are being exposed to messages about sexuality at a very young age - way too young.  Not broaching this topic is akin to sticking your head in the sand.  From the attitudes expressed here, I would suggest that the parents may need some education as well.  How would you handle it if you dropped your child off for a sleepover, and found out that the friend had two mommies?

Finally, I was unaware that Ms. Wynne is a lesbian.  Even if she is, so what?  From the tone of your posting (and this isn’t the first on this topic), it would appear that you fail to understand the difference between awareness and tolerance as opposed to encouragement.  So I will take you up on your offer - I will call you a “right-wing reactionary homophobe”.  The gay and lesbian community is not asking for more rights - simply the same rights that all people should share.

Posted by Wayne Scott Ng on 09/28 at 11:11 AM

Despite being a right-wing reactionary homophobe, I - amazingly - deplore the death of the grade 10 student you mention. However, I don’t agree that the best way to pre-empt situations like this is to try to make kids less homophobic (good luck with that), but rather to stamp out bullying. Kids get picked on for all sorts of reasons, and you’ll never be able to brainwash away all of them - plus it’s always way easier to change how people act than change how people think.

With regard to whether sexuality should be taught at a young age, my policy was always simply to answer my children’s questions as they came up. If and when a child asked for more detail, I supplied it. I found that the sex ed provided in my children’s schools was generally counter-productive, as in many cases the teachers who were attracted to teaching these programs were jerks. Mr. Wainscotting evidently has a higher opinion of sex education teachers than he does of parents: my opinions are the opposite.

With regard to my including a reference to Ms. Wynne’s sexual orientation, I felt it was relevant to the discussion at hand. Naturally, I would not have mentioned it if I had been talking about, say, transportation or the coming provincial election.

Posted by mdare on 09/28 at 12:02 PM

“I felt it was relevant to the discussion at hand.”

It isn’t, thanks for proving my point. 

At our school, the teacher who leads the World Religions class is a fundamentalist Christian.  Many students have made disparaging remarks about how her avowed faith automatically disqualifies her from teaching a course about all faiths.  I don’t think it does - it’s not relevant.

“I don?t agree that the best way to pre-empt situations like this is to try to make kids less homophobic (good luck with that), but rather to stamp out bullying.”  Stamp out bullying?  Good luck with that.  The month before our sexual orientation awareness week where the posters were defaced, our school had a prolonged anti-bullying campaign.  How’s that for irony?

Schools may not be able to ‘stamp out homophobia’, but that shouldn’t preclude them from trying.  Young people get much of their view of other groups from the media, their parents and their friends, not their teachers.  So, it will be difficult to overcome these prejudices.  Similarly, young people have all kinds of prejudices about aboriginal people, blacks, Jewish people, Muslims - the list goes on.  How do most experts say that such prejudices can be mitigated?  - By talking to children when they are young, before these ideas take root.  Young people are not born to hate - these views are nurtured in the home.

Funny, I don’t hear you calling for an end to black awareness campaigns, native studies, or excluding discussion of Hitler or 9/11 in school.  Put the word ‘sex’ into it and all of a sudden it’s taboo.  As I said, the LGBTQ community (I hope I got the letters right) is not asking for more rights - just the same rights.  We teach tolerance for all groups why not them?

Posted by Wayne Scott Ng on 09/28 at 01:43 PM

Are you kidding?  Nowhere above did I mention multi-culturalism.  In fact, here is an interesting quote for you:  “Canada is an officially multicultural country, but multiculturalism does not address racism.”  you can find it here:  http://restructure.wordpress.com/2010/02/22/canada-is-multicultural-not-anti-racist/

Here is another quote from the same article:  “In Canada, there is the mistaken belief that racism is caused by cultural differences, and that if multiculturalism is embraced, then there would be no racism. However, when Canadians face discrimination when we travel while black, go fishing while East Asian, protest while brown, or seek medical care while indigenous, the problem is not ?cultural differences? to be solved with ?cultural sensitivity?. This ?cultural? problem formulation still insists that people of colour must have done something differently from white people to provoke discrimination. It ignores the possibility that people of colour might do the same things as white people and still be treated differently due to our race.”  Replace the word ‘race’ in this quote with ‘sexual orientation’ and replace ‘people of colour’ with ‘gay’ and you bring the discussion back to where we began.

The solution to racism and prejudice is NOT to give up as your ‘inspired’ articles would suggest, but rather to institute effective rather than ineffective programs.  Why?  Because the alternative is frightening.  We would be living in a world of shallow ideas and warped logic.

Here are just two examples from the past 20 years:
1)  Phillip Rushton tried to make people believe that black men have large penises and small brains based on studies of hat sizes. 
2)  Michelle Bachmann would have people believe that homosexuality is a ‘disease’ that can be ‘cured’ - oh, and by the way for tens of thousands of dollars in her private clinic.

Without teachers creating a balanced message our children would be left to the message they hear at home.  From some of the intolerant, near-sighted and prejudicial comments I have read here and other threads on this blog, it is indeed a frightening thought.

Oh, and by the way, I checked out this Institute for Canadian Values you alluded to.  It is a conservative religious think tank liked by a grand total of 6 people on Facebook.  Sorry, but you keep aligning yourself with the lunatic fringe.

Posted by Wayne Scott Ng on 09/28 at 04:35 PM

Wayne,it is co incidental that this has come up;
my hairdresser is a single mother with a child in grade 2.She is of Italian descent.
She is a taking Wed.off this week to join 10 other sets of parents from her child`s class to strongly oppose TDSB`s unnerving invasion of their rights in discussing sexual orientation at this young age as a matter of curriculum.Why don`t they teach reading,spelling,math,science,environment,social skills etc…and leave it to parents to discuss these subjects when they feel their kids are ready.Butt out,unless the kid is in Grade 7 and upward.
I agree that Kathleen Wynne`s sexual orientation is not our concern but if it starts to be connected to choosing elementary curriculum then we have to call her on it.I am not trying to make the world more tolerant of Jews in schools because I am Jewish,it`s simply not appropriate.Frankly I was appalled at what my hairdresser shared with me.

Posted by Jo-Anne Gross on 09/28 at 04:37 PM

Jo-anne,

I agree with you that schools need to be teaching the basics effectively - but that doesn’t preclude the inclusion of other topics.  In fact, this whole discussion begs the question:  IF Ontario schools were doing a good job of educating our children and thereby gaining the trust of the parents and public, would we be concerned over the inclusion of social topics?  Maybe, maybe not.

With all due respect, Ms. Wynne’s sexual orientation is not relevant.  In fact, I turned tables above by disparaging the Institute as a lunatic fringe.  I was surprised that no one took me to task over that.  Here is my caveat:  “If someone is telling the truth, then their motivation is irrelevant.”

I cited two of thousands of cases of homophobia that occur in schools every year.  Read the Star article:  gay students are afraid to go to school.  Do we have a homophobia problem in our schools? Absolutely yes.  In that case, what difference does Ms. Wynne’s sexual orientation make?  If we have a problem in our schools, then ANY minister, gay or straight, would be remiss in their duties in not addressing it.

As for the Institute, they believe in a ‘gay conspiracy’.  There is no such thing.  Therefore, is their motivation suspect?  Yes.  Do we need to investigate?  Yes.  Are they part of the fringe?  Yes.

As for your friend, listen to the hysteria in her voice.  She is exactly why schools need to treat the topic seriously.  Ask yourself what is she afraid of?  She is afraid that by discussing tolerance of gay people, her children will ‘become’ gay.  That is like saying that by including native studies, everyone will become aboriginal.  You can’t change your race, nor can you change your sexual orientation.

Posted by Wayne Scott Ng on 09/28 at 05:30 PM

Wayne,grade K-5 are too young for this stuff.I stand by that,I am not a member or viewer of this Institute,it is common sense.
Sex education is a subject that requires exposure and confusion through life experience,we categorize and clarify when kids are more mature and able to comprehend the nuances,I wouldn`t want my little girl in grade 2 doing this either.
I understand that we have different view points.
As for Kathleen,yes,that should not have been mentioned,we both know Malkin is a brilliant caring educator,she doesn`t make mistakes like this,she felt she had to expose that there was a biased view in the curriculum division.

Posted by Jo-Anne Gross on 09/28 at 05:39 PM

The problem today concerning the school policies whether it is sex education, bullying policies or simply imposing political correct responses, in order not to offend, is that the general thinking behind the policies are based on white privilege from the critical race theory. Where ever one hears the word critical connected to theory, it is a good bet it hails from someone in the education field.

‘White privilege differs from conditions of overt racism or prejudice, in which a dominant group actively seeks to oppress or suppress other racial groups for its own advantage. Instead, theories of white privilege suggest that whites view their social, cultural, and economic experiences as a norm that everyone should experience, rather than as an advantaged position that must be maintained at the expense of others. This normative assumption implicitly constrains discussions of racial inequality within the dominant discourse: such explanations are limited to factors specific to disadvantaged racial groups - who are viewed as having failed to achieve the norm - and solutions focus on what can be done to help those groups achieve the ‘normal’ standards experienced by whites.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_privilege

The outcome in today’s schools and society is that the minority group, is being told how to insert their rights over other groups, regardless if the other groups’ individual values and cultures are suppressed over the minority group. As for the other groups, they are being asked to reject their values, or reconfigure them to make room for them, and accept that the minority has the right to run roughshod over the values and cultures of the other groups.

Wayne, what gives a minority group the right to change the individual’s values and culture by asking them to concede their values, and replace it with another set of values. It shows no respect for the values and culture held by the individual, and government, and in this case the education ministry are imposing the values and culture unto other groups by force. By doing so, it gets very messy, and really sticky when it comes to values and culture held by the individual. The gays have their rights, but they do not have the right to imposed their values and culture unto the other groups in society or in the schools. Just like the police do not have the right under the law, to asked us for identification when we are walking down the street. But they do that, and it is up to the individual to insert their rights under the Constitution.  Now that latter example can be a very sticky situation, just like the situation of introducing gay literature to the primary grades. For most people it would be easier to insert their rights to the police officer and take their chances, than to insert their rights in a public education system, that has raise the status of certain minority groups to give them the right to imposed their values onto the rest of the groups. At least the police would not raise issues of bigotry, hatred because a person decided to insert their rights, but in a school, parents and their children if they chose to do so, their values and culture may be ripped apart for being offensive to others.

If anything the policies of the public education system, are creating more disrespect for one another, where values and morals are as interchangeable as replacing batteries of two different brands. I have no trouble with gays, until someone is in my face telling me I have to change my values and replace it with the values of the gay person. I was raised with the European immigrants, and in my class I was the only one with an English name and Catholic to boot. Now that is being an odd person, and I certainly know what it is to feel discriminated and pushed around on differences. My kids have felt the same pressure, especially my youngest kid. Try living in NL, born in Ontario, speaks like a mainlander, and only 1/2 Newfoundlander. It took years to get my youngest to stand up for herself, and be proud of her values and culture, and don’t let anyone take them away from you.

The funny thing about rights, is that they can be granted, but they can never be force upon an individual. The individual must take ownership, and with the ownership comes responsibilities. The responsibility of respecting one another, without having to tear down the other person to inserting their rights and values as a human being. My youngest has the respect of her peers, as I did. This is what should be taught in our schools, respect of the individual that breeds tolerance for others. Understanding and awareness follows through. But in the process, it can get awfully messy, because humans are a messy lot to begin with. .

Posted by Nancy on 09/28 at 05:54 PM

“Wayne, what gives a minority group the right to change the individual?s values and culture by asking them to concede their values, and replace it with another set of values.”

OK Nancy, let’s assume that the ‘values and culture’ asking to be conceded are those of the Neo-Nazi movement.  Really, who are blacks and Jews anyway to think that they can impose their views of not wanting to be wiped out?  You get how ridiculous the argument becomes.

Frankly Nancy, I am shocked by what you have written on this thread.  Let me repeat this: gay students are afraid to go to school.  There has traditionally been another group really afraid to go to school:  those with learning disabilities.  Let me tell you some of the things that other students have said about the rights afforded LD students:  “Why do they get to use their notes on a test, I can’t?  Why does the board supply them with laptops, I don’t get one?  Why do they get one-on-one teaching, I don’t?  Why do they get special equipment, I don’t have any? and on and on”

For being such a passionate defender of the rights of students with disabilities, you apparently don’t care about anyone else.  I’m sorry, but you are being extremely prejudicial and hypocritical here.

Posted by Wayne Scott Ng on 09/28 at 06:34 PM

Jk to grade3 explicit sex education curriculum?

Not appropriate in my opinion.
Learning about anatomy in general including sexual organs and where babies come from, yes, by all means done in an appropriate way.
Talking about families and about responsabilities when you are part of a family, yes.
Explicit sex education at that age? Not in my view.

Scott I’m very surprised by your opinions.
The rightneousness of how teachers know best and how they have a right to impose the school system values and policies on somebody else’s children simply left me speechless.

I agree with Malkin’s opinion: schools should not tolerate any kind of bullying behavior for any reasons and that of course includes bullying for reasons of sexual orientation.

I also agree with Malkin that because the topic of discussion is sex education in schools the sexual orientation of Ms. Wynne is relevant.

If we were discussing math education in schools I would also consider your qualifications and experience as a math teacher as relevant.

Posted by fromEurope on 09/29 at 05:56 AM

>> Young people are not born to hate - these views are nurtured in the home.
<<

Wayne, your comments are definitely disturbing to me. Excuse me?

>>At our school, the teacher who leads the World Religions class is a fundamentalist Christian.  Many students have made disparaging remarks about how her avowed faith automatically disqualifies her from teaching a course about all faiths.  I don?t think it does - it?s not relevant. <<

Really? Wayne, whether we are aware of it or not, whether we want to admit it or not, each and every one of us is biased toward our opinions in the way we view the world.

While being a fundamentalist Christian perhaps shouldn’t automatically disqualify you from teaching world religions I think that teacher’s religion affiliation IS very relevant in this situation and it would be a big question mark for me as to the appropriateness of that teaching assignment.

In my view, the students are right to raise the question.

Posted by fromEurope on 09/29 at 06:24 AM

I think that Ontario’s educational system has much bigger fish to fry, than indoctrinating children (as good as their intentions are) at such a young age.
Bullying in Ontario is very bad, and I’ve read that Ontario is considered ground zero internationally for its bullying problem; yet the current Liberal government continues to ignore glaring problems and tinker.  This issue, in my opinion, is just another example.

Posted by Bev on 09/29 at 06:28 AM

Correcting a mistake in my previous post

The correct text is:
“shouldn?t automatically disqualify someone”

Posted by fromEurope on 09/29 at 06:28 AM

Europe,

“shouldn?t automatically disqualify someone” - that was my point.  Then you go ahead and make the same mistake that the students did - you assumed she must be doing something wrong, otherwise why question her background?  The only reason for disqualifying such a person would be if she used the class as her soapbox to indoctrinate students into her faith.  Why assume the worst?  Why assume that a professional with 5 years of university education and a career at stake would risk it all?  Ergo - her faith is irrelevant.  Especially since not one student in 10 years has ever lodged such a complaint.

Furthermore, as a parent, I would much rather have her teach the class than someone like Doug Little who is an avowed atheist.  He has gone on record as saying that religion is nothing more than a quaint holdover from simpler times.  How would he start a religion class?  “Good morning students.  We are going to spend the next 75 minutes talking about a being that doesn’t exist.”  At least as a Christian she understands faith, belief and the All mighty.  Makes her MORE qualified in my mind, maybe you think not.

I also find your stance on gay tolerance interesting.  You said you were willing to talk to your children about penises and vaginas; birds and bees; and where babies come from.  But you would not, for instance, tell them a story where the main character has two daddies?  Are you kidding?  No one (except Ms. Dare) is saying (or implying) that they are going to be giving explicit, detailed information on how two gay people make love.

I’ll stand by my earlier comment - the parents need lessons on gay tolerance as much or more than some of our children.  The nature/nurture argument is from Psych 101.  No one is born to hate - that is learned behaviour.  As an interesting example:  This summer the convenor of the U6 soccer league introduced herself and her partner to the players and parents.  Not one child batted an eyelash.  Not one child bullied their child about her parents being gay.  That’s six years of age.  I see them by the time they get to sixteen - and the difference is night and day.  That hatred came from somewhere.

From all the responses to my comments on this thread, I would suggest that some of you could learn some lessons from a six year old.

Posted by Wayne Scott Ng on 09/29 at 12:50 PM

Everyone here makes perfect sense, and no one appears to have homophobic leanings; however your rampages suggest an angry individual.  It’s OK to be angry, but why always the mudslinging, Wayne? 
When losing arguments, the left habitually gets on their high horse and begins slinging mud at anyone who doesn’t agree with them.  Does this make the left better?

Posted by Bev on 09/29 at 03:01 PM

Gay Tolerance, along with tolerance of income levels, tolerance of the LD and ADD students, or tolerance of all others in their shapes and sizes.

Funny how those who work within the education system views tolerance of one another. One child is expected to be tolerant of those who calls him stupid, dumb and any adjectives of dumb. Lately, the SPED name is popular, in the playground, to sort out the pecking order. Another, is expected to endured lectures on how to properly apologized for their actions, that cause the bully to hit them. These days, both the victim and the bully are suspended, and they are made to apologized to each other. The next day, the bully starts all over again, changing his strategies, so only the victim will get into trouble.  Children learn really quick in a school, that the norm is the ideal place for a student. Anything outside the norm, is seen by students much differently than the adults. And the things that are taught to the students, especially the younger students, intolerance may result, rather than tolerance. If this policy comes in, new names in the playground to keep the bullies and more names for the victims to deal with. Intolerance comes in many forms, and not just the gay kind. The most recent is the suicide of a 11 year old in Ontario. The bullies took offense to his physical disability, and an opportunity to steal his i-phone. No one is speaking for the intolerance of people with physical disabilities, nor the intolerance of others who are outside the norm. And more importantly, no one is taking about the biases of those who are in charge of our children, and their beliefs. Bullying does not happen in a vacuum, nor does it solely rest on one segment of society. But it is often the case within the education system, that those who work within the education system, are absolve from their actions, because they have the qualifications to teach children. As I was told on a regular basis throughout the primary years.

By high school, students beliefs are more or less set within the school culture. Very difficult to change attitudes of students, when their reality is much different from the reality of the education system and their sloppy progressive thinking. Even the philosophers will state, people’s beliefs and values are very hard to change, especially if one has a different reality than the one who is trying to change it.

The public education systems, its structures and the ideology shapes the beliefs systems of those who work in the education field. As I discovered, often the public education system, will not acknowledge the reality of the students, by suspending their beliefs, and see how the school is shaping the beliefs of their students. In other words, their reality, and not the perceived reality of those who work within the education system.

The resulting friction are students and parents constantly playing the game of balancing their values against the shifting values and the changing status of values that counts within the public education system. At the moment, it is the gay issue, and where all other issues are further down the totem pole, and perhaps even off the radar screen altogether. And sometimes tragic results come from the public education system refusal to acknowledge their students’ reality as well as the parents, and how the public education structure, their values, and ideology plays the starring role of the downward spiral of a student, or a group of students.

“Canada is not doing a good job of addressing bullying so it remains a major problem, says one of the country?s leading experts on the issue.

?Here we are, a country that has an international reputation of being so nice and dealing with issues of diversity, inclusion and equity, and yet at the level of children, we really aren?t doing a good job,? said Professor Debra Pepler of York University, who is also a scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children.

?We are not keeping them safe; we are not providing them with the necessary supports to learn how to live in healthy relationships,? added Pepler, a founder of PREVNet (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network), a national network of researchers.”

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1060647—kids-not-safe-from-bullying-expert-says?bn=1

Will the public education listen to outside experts, or plow on with their reality and sloppy diversity, inclusion and equality policies that asked one and all, all must be assimilated and adopt the values and goals of those who work within the education system. After all, every seven minutes some student is being bullied, or 204 incidents each and every day. Yearly, 74,460 bully incidents that our students face. I could add more stats, regarding the highest risk group for bullying, and it is not the gays at the highest risk.

Posted by Nancy on 09/29 at 04:27 PM

Bev,

You baffle me, I’ll be honest.  Nowhere (other than taking up Ms. Dare on her offer and calling the Institute the lunatic fringe) have I been ‘mudslinging’.  What I have been doing is supplying reasoned, logical, cogent, thought-out, researched responses to over-the-top hysterical hyperbole.  Nowhere have I engaged in personal attacks on yourself, Nancy, or Europe.

No, that would be the bulldog tactics that you and Chuck like to use.  These tactics have endeared this blog to readers so much that they are dropping out like flies.  Our American guest lasted, what, 24 hours?  Just because you don’t like the reflection in the mirror, don’t blame the person holding it.

It’s clear that you don’t have any actual proof that I am wrong.  What you did just write makes you look foolish.  I LOL everytime someone like you calls me a leftie.  Is your memory so short?  Just 9 months ago Doug was accusing me of being ultra conservative.  So, if the left thinks I’m akin to Stephen Harper, but I’m so far to the left of you that you and others think I’m a secret communist - where does that put you? Think on that awhile.

Posted by Wayne Scott Ng on 09/29 at 04:32 PM

Nancy:

“After all, every seven minutes some student is being bullied, or 204 incidents each and every day.”  So you understand why I take this issue so seriously.  It may surprise you (and hopefully hearten you) that I take the bullying of the disabled, Asians, East Asians, blacks, Muslims, and just about any group just as seriously, and just as vigorously as I have done here.  NO student is allowed to denigrate another in my class for ANY reason.

You, too, have me baffled.  What you seem to be arguing is either: a) there is a gradation of needs and that students with disabilities are more deserving of our sympathy that those ‘gays’ and/or b) since anti-bullying programs have not worked so far, therefore we should just back off and let the bullies have at it.

If you read carefully what I wrote above, ALL students deserve our respect and protection.  I’m hoping that you think so too.

Posted by Wayne Scott Ng on 09/29 at 04:48 PM

Wayne, I find the tone of your comments innapropriate.

>>Then you go ahead and make the same mistake that the students did - you assumed she must be doing something wrong, otherwise why question her background?<<

No, I did not.
If I am not mistaken fundamentalist Christian means that they understand and believe that the stories in the Bible have occured exactly as they happened. Which means that he or she literally believes in the creation of the world in 7 days, in the virgin conception and so on ...

Even with the best intentions, and by no means I question the intentions, I don’t think there is a high probability that such a person can present other religions or atheism without having that presentation coloured by his or hers own biases.
I would also question this person’s rationality so probably I would not feel very comfortable having him or her teach my son.

It is really no different for me than questioning the quality of teaching done somebody teaching math who believes that learning the multiplication tables makes a student less creative and believes that textbooks like “Math Makes Sense” are good textbooks!

Posted by fromEurope on 09/29 at 06:03 PM

Mr. Ng, you’re slinging mud again.  I don’t really care that you sling mud, but it appears to be a way of tryig to gain the upper hand that the left seems to use.  Many people debating begin shouting, when they’re determined to make their point known—mudslinging is about the same when relying on the printed word.

Posted by Bev on 09/29 at 06:19 PM

Here, Here Europe.  The problem with Wayne’s argument is that he maintains the same Utopian mindset inserted into public schools by Dewey; ie. a teacher’s job is to change the world. I don’t care what creed, sexuality, or religion a student is- I care about teaching them the academic skills that they need to know in order to have a chance at life.  Until everyone is reading and computing perfectly, and schools are unanimously using actual, proven programs (DI anyone?) , Utopia should not be on the agenda. (Unless you are teaching about Thomas More. Ha, ha)

Posted by madteacher on 09/29 at 06:32 PM

Madteacher,

You believe that treating all students fairly regardless of race, creed, religion, sexuality or ability is Utopian?  So, since no one here has come up with any concrete ideas - maybe you would like to take a crack at it now.

Go ahead, illuminate us.

Posted by Wayne Scott Ng on 09/29 at 06:47 PM

Wayne, I am not interested in playing with you.  You are trying to talk back without thinking about the point. I see kids try to do this all of the time at school, and it doesn’t work on me there either. If you think your job is to work on social issues at school, keep at it; there are more of you out there then I care to fight with.  I taught a 16 yr old how to alphabetize today.  I think I will keep teaching skills that are academic and leave the rest in your capable hands.  Have a good night checking this page, I have work to do.

Posted by madteacher on 09/29 at 07:08 PM

Unbelievable.

Posted by Wayne Scott Ng on 09/29 at 07:24 PM

Good for you, but in reality it is not happening in every class, in every instant, and rarely is their immediate consequences for the one who called another a name. It is why parents actions today do not pleased the public education system. The parents who go to the police, bypassing the school altogether. In rural areas, works like a charm to see the educrats in a huff and puff and the very idea that parents would used the police, and not their top-notch bully program. Some, and there is one parent down in my area, has a lawyer on stand-by so the school board does the right thing for her child. This year, the doors automatically open, a nice addition that any city slicker would not expect in such a rural locale.

If all students deserve the respect and protection, than why are some students lower on the totem pole than other students. Be careful before you answer, and do some research on the parent blogs, and where ever parents gathered to trade tips and information. In my days of schooling, any bad behaviour, no matter the student, or the student whose father donated the money for the year book, bad behaviour had immediate consequences. Even teachers got chew out for slipping every once in a while, and were made to apologized to the student.

Are you aware that some parent are afraid to asked questions at school, because they fear being seen as dumb?  More so today, of the constant messages coming from the public education system, that they are the only ones to look after the best interests of our children. It doesn’t help, when public education systems, come up with programs and call them Parent Education. The message is that parents are too dumb to conform to the values of the school and the system, and therefore must be educated to change their values.

.  Parents are increasingly being target as they too need to be fixed, in the same way as students need to be fixed, minus the education. More important than if the student needs remediation in math.

It is not a coincidence Wayne, that as the gay community received their rights legally, the whole community has actively engaged the politically system to addressed their issues, especially in the public education system, over and above to where other important issues of children and learning are put on the back burner. And if one check the experts and other professions that work with children, they are stating children best interests is no longer a focus in so many areas in society and in our schools. It is very apparent in the elementary years, that the focus on a child’s education should be the firm foundation of the 3 Rs, and not the constant ideology and dogma that children are exposed to, without having the means if the knowledge represents the truth based on their experience. Personally, I experienced some very weird twisting of bullying policies, where some are more equal than others, especially if the parent donates large sums of monies to a school. Apparently, it gives them the right to run roughshod over the rights of other parents and their children.  The gay community are using all their political power to change policies in the public education, and in doing so, running roughshod over other important policies where the different issues of children and their learning needs are taking a backseat to the more pressing issue of gays, and their education.

I would not call it equality, when one group hijacks the system because they have more political capital than the other groups. In much the same way, as the high-income parents and their schools have more political capital than their counterparts in the low-income school. Rather odd, that the low-income schools always lack the resources, and the high-income schools never go without. And yet the public education system, produces the constant message that all schools are equal. People are not dumb, but the people who work with the education system, and claimed to be the only ones that are qualified to teach our children, sure thinks that parents are too dumb not to see the inequalities within their own school, the school board and the whole education system.

The trouble is the public education system does not see the inequalities created by the poor policies, because they live in the land of Utopia, where everyone is unequal and bound to the latest social dogma, And it is really funny, how deaf the school when it comes to the creative ways of students of insulting each other in front of the teachers. And they call it getting along, helping each other when it is code for watch out, I coming to get you. And by high school, the bullies have it down to a fine art. I swear they practice their art on the LD students, who are less likely to voice their concerns because they already know it is useless, because they do not have any political capital, and they learned that lesson a long time ago back in grade 1 or so.

,

Posted by Nancy on 09/29 at 09:17 PM

From the Toronto Sun this morning.

I totally agree.  This should be being raised with McGuinty in this election.


http://www.torontosun.com/2011/09/29/mcguintys-busy-undoing-what-hes-done

Posted by Chuck on 09/30 at 06:12 AM

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