Education Secretary Dustin Duncan has directed his department to review explicit documents related to the adolescent curriculum, and plans to instruct school boards to suspend future presentations with Planned Parenthood Regina.
He announced the guidelines Thursday afternoon after being made aware that a 9th grade student had picked up graphic sexual material left behind by Planned Parenthood after members of the organization presented themselves to their health class.
“The material in question — as a minister of education, quite frankly as a parent — is completely inappropriate to be in a classroom,” Duncan told reporters on Thursday.
“We want to make sure that material doesn’t become part of the resources provided to students…I want to make sure that the Department of Education also reviews our own information to make sure it’s appropriate – and particularly appropriate for the age.”
Planned Parenthood, a sexual health clinic that offers community programming, among other things, visited Lumsden High School last Monday to give a presentation to a grade 9 health class, a Prairie Valley School Division spokesperson told Breaking:.
The presentation was in line with the curriculum, according to the spokesperson.
Julian Wotherspoon, executive director of Planned Parenthood, told Breaking: that the presentation was vetted by the teacher, but they brought other resources, such as pamphlets, that they would take with them to every other presentation. Those resources were left on a side table after the presentation.
A student picked up a copy of a deck of cards titled Sex from AZ. The cards have cartoon illustrations and provide graphic explanations on various topics, including some identities and sexual acts.
A spokesperson for the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT), the creator of the set, says the cards should be a resource for gay, bisexual and queer youth ages 18 to 29 to address a lack of sex education for non- compensate young people. -heterosexual people.
The cards should serve as a guide to help young people stay safe while experimenting, the spokesperson said.
The school department and Wotherspoon each said the source was unrelated to the actual presentation.
Duncan disagreed with how explicit the cards were and read several examples to reporters.
The division has followed up with Planned Parenthood, requesting that the source be removed from future school presentations. Wotherspoon says he has accepted the feedback.
Wotherspoon hopes people are still willing to refer to Planned Parenthood to facilitate these kinds of conversations, she said.
She was disappointed to learn through Breaking: that Duncan had called for school presentations to be suspended.
The suspension, Duncan said, will be in effect until the ministry’s review is completed. There is no timeline, but expect it to happen before the next school starts.
The work includes examining the vetting process for presenters and ensuring that resources and materials issued by the ministry itself are age appropriate, he said.
Duncan also wants to find a way for schools to inform parents when sex education is being taught to students and what is being covered so they can have a say in how their children are taught, he said.