Teachers challenge Ontario over sex-ed curriculum, 'snitch line'

TORONTO – Ontario elementary teachers say they have taken the government to court over the sex-ed curriculum in part because of a warning to educators that came along with it.

A Toronto court is hearing a legal challenge today from both the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association over the Progressive Conservative government's repeal of an updated sex-ed curriculum.

Those 2015 updates made by the previous Liberal government included lessons warning about online bullying and sexting, but opponents, especially social conservatives, objected to parts addressing same-sex relationships and gender identity.

The teachers allege the repeal is unconstitutional, putting children at risk by failing to be inclusive and meeting the needs of today's students.

But ETFO lawyer Howard Goldblatt says in court that there might not be a legal case today if Premier Doug Ford hadn't also issued a warning to teachers who openly said they would continue to use the now-scrapped version of the curriculum.

Ford said he wouldn't tolerate teachers using children as pawns for political grandstanding and his government launched a website where parents can report such concerns, which critics have dubbed a “snitch line.”