Durham District School Board concerned with proposed curriculum changes

The Durham District School Board has issued a letter outlining concerns with the Provincial Government’s intent to revert to a previous health and physical education curriculum.

The letter, released Wednesday (July 25), reads as follows:

“On behalf of the Trustees of the Durham District School Board, we are voicing our collective concerns relating to the provincial government’s recent decision to return to the previous version of the Physical Education curriculum.

We respectfully request that the government complete their announced consultations in this area as soon as possible, and in the interim, allow the current curriculum to remain in place pending the outcome of these consultations. In addition, we would also ask that the Minister of Education clarify curriculum expectations for September 2018, in the hopes that appropriate and responsive learning materials supporting students’ health and wellness will be available.

There are many challenges in today’s world that simply did not exist in earlier times. Today’s youth need specific knowledge and skills to respond to the realities, benefits and pressures that stem from our rapidly changing, technology-driven world. Extensive support is required to manage many modern risks and issues such as cyber-bullying, sexting, and the proliferation of online pornography.

Our children’s safety in understanding consent, as well as signs of sexual abuse and processes to follow to support reporting to the police, are key omissions in the previous curriculum. The safety of our students is a critical priority.

With student safety at the forefront, it is our position that the previous curriculum falls short in addressing the knowledge and skills that today’s youth require.

The DDSB is committed to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusive Practices. This is a foundational strategic priority of our Board. We want our communities to know that our sincere commitment to create inclusive and responsive school environments has not wavered. This includes all LGBTQ+ students, staff, parents, and families that compose our wonderfully diverse region.

Should you have any additional questions or concerns about the provincial Health and Physical Education curriculum, we encourage you to contact your local Member of Provincial Parliament or the Minister of Education. Your feedback and input for the upcoming consultations on this matter are an important part of the process.

Sincerely,

Michael Barrett

Chairperson,  Board of Trustees

Lisa Millar

Director of Education”