Sex Ed and Inadequate Teacher Training

In 2005, Quebec’s education ministry decided that the professional and social education courses being given were inadequate, and had no place in our schools. The ministry had hoped, if not to say fantasized, that all our teachers could intervene and could be relevant concerning the sexual education of our children. Now sex ed is back in Quebec classrooms.

By Raymond Viger

Let’s be serious here for a moment. We ask an English teacher to make sure our children can write English properly. A math teacher is expected to know the world of numbers. And we want to make sex ed part of their normal everyday curriculum?

What floors me is the gap between the will to offer sex ed courses and the capacity of our teachers to deliver such courses. How can we raise awareness of issues related to sexuality without offering our kids the necessary tools to provoke knowledgeable debate and reflection?

For example, if ever we offered kids a school textbook on sexuality, parents would raise the barricades to have that book banned! How does a parent’s committee expect to define the difference between pornography and sex education? Has the education department thrown the hot potato elsewhere rather than deal with the problem?

Contrary to a sex ed specialist, an English or math teacher didn’t choose to immerse him or herself in this subject, and isn’t trained to talk about sexuality with a young person.

Delivering sex ed courses will be a conundrum for some time to come, even though recently, in December of 2017, the La Fédération des comités de parents du Québec (The Quebec Federation of Parents’ Committees) hailed the return of sex ed to our classes after a 12-plus year hiatus.

First seen in: Reflet de Société, Vol. 26 no. 3, été (summer) 2018, page 4

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