ETFO seeks injunction to keep 2015 sex-ed curriculum in place

As students returned to class today, a major teachers union announced it is taking legal action to fight the Ontario government's decision to repeal a modernized version of the province's sexual-education curriculum.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario says it is seeking an injunction to keep the curriculum in place and to stop what it calls the government's ``snitch line'' where parents can report non-compliant teachers.

"ETFO is forced to take this action, because students need information and answers to their questions to deal with the realities of 2018," said ETFO's president Sam Hammond, adding that it's all in order to protect the safety and health of students.

Ontario's Progressive Conservative government has warned there will be consequences for teachers who use the modernized version of the lesson plan put in place by the Liberals in 2015.

That curriculum touched on issues such as consent and online bullying, but some opposed parts that dealt with topics such as gender identity and masturbation.

The province has launched a website where parents can flag concerns about teachers who stray from the government's ``revised interim curriculum'' and has also urged parents to file complaints with the Ontario College of Teachers.

"Quite simply, ETFO believes that the government's actions are an abuse of power, and are in direct conflict with teachers' professional obligations enshrined within the education act and the standards of practice of the Ontario College of Teachers," Hammond added.

- With files from Jackie Rosen