|Ben Levin at his plea hearing. |
Source: The National Post newspaper.
It is all very sickening.
Right on cue, detractors of Ontario's new Health and Physical Education Curriculum have used the spectacle to press the ongoing conspiracy theory that the document itself part of a fiendish plan to groom children for sex.
First out of the gate is Toronto Sun columnist and Councillor Rob Ford fanboy Joe Warmington, whose article Liberals can't deny Levin's role in sex-ed curriculum, published only days before the plea hearing. Mr Warmington references several memos by the disgraced former deputy education minister. There's no smoking gun here -- all the dreary government correspondence says is what everyone should already know: As Deputy Minister of Education for the Province of Ontario, Mr Levin was responsible for everything the Ministry did. That's not the same as doing everything himself.
To take another example, the publisher of The Toronto Sun newspaper is responsible for everything that appears within its pages and online. That doesn't mean that he writes stories, takes pictures, or negotiates ad buys. But let's play along with Mr Warmington for a moment. I donned a pair of gloves, got out my tongs, and extracted this bit of prose:
Memos show Levin announcing he is taking over the “renamed” Learning and Curriculum department and “will have responsibilty for curriculum.” It’s nonsensical and troubling to suggest Levin was not involved. In the interest of children, with these documents now public, members of the legislature should sanction the premier and minister for spinning attempts.
After all, inside the strategy Levin was pushing, under the heading “Curriculum and Courses,” it states revised curriculum policy documents contain a section on “antidiscrimination education that encourages teachers to recognize the diversity of students’ backgrounds, interests, and experiences, and to incorporate a variety of viewpoints and perspectives in learning activities. New courses are also being created that focus on gender studies, equity studies, and world cultures.”
Under the “Safe Schools Strategy” it says it “includes revising the curriculum to ensure that gender-based violence, homophobia, sexual harassment, and inappropriate sexual behaviour are discussed and addressed in the classroom. It also includes the use of sample school climate surveys to help principals assess perceptions of safety by students, parents, and school staff to inform prevention and intervention plans.”
The Liberals’ claim Levin didn’t write the sex-ed curriculum is a dodge.
Of course the deputy minister of education didn’t write the sex-ed curriculum.
He presided over its first version in 2010, as Joe Warmington’s Toronto Sun column clearly revealed Tuesday — using Levin’s own words about his role in the education ministry.
As for the Liberals consulting with parents, they didn’t do it in 2010, when former premier Dalton McGuinty withdrew it citing that lack of consultation, and they haven’t done it now, even though the curriculum is substantially the same.
Indeed, it’s been presented by Wynne as a fait accompli that’s coming to schools this September come hell or high water.
Why? What’s the rush?
Why can’t a few months of public hearings be held on the sex-ed curriculum by the relevant Queen’s Park committee?
Why can’t parents have a real say on it — and by that we mean not just parents hand-picked by the government?
Given that the curriculum hasn’t been updated since 1998 what difference will a few more months make?
Why not take that time to get it right, as well as satisfy the understandable concerns many parents have that it turns out the guy who presided over its development was a pervert?
* October 31, 2012: Levin’s comments to (Deputy Education Minister George) Zegarac, including "safety/well-being are not aspects of individuals or things that we would teach or develop are they?”
|Charles McVety with Monte McNaughton.|
|The McNaughtons with Councillor Ford.|
I just wish pundits and politicians would emerge from their zombie refrains and realize: A child pornographer has no place in the classroom.I quite agree.
And neither does the ideology behind FordNation.
|"Queeruption" counter protester at July 25, 2014 FordFest grabbed by neck. |