SSM finishes closing arguments in sex-ed case

Feb 20, 2019

Over the course of 10 hearing days, SSM lawyers Mika Imai and Marcus McCann argued a landmark case at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario – that the Ontario government’s decision to retreat to the 1998 sex-ed curriculum was discriminatory and contrary to the Human Rights Code.

SSM was supported by three interveners – the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario and Justice for Children and Youth.

The Applicant at the heart of the case, AB, is an 11-year-old trans girl. Both AB and her mom testified at the Tribunal, speaking about the message sent by the government’s actions and AB’s fears about what she’ll be taught this year in sex-ed. In addition, five expert witnesses spoke to the impact of the government’s decision on LGBTQ2+ students more broadly, as well as the chilling effect it would have on teachers.

Through the course of the hearing, it was revealed that the government knew the 1998 curriculum included no mandatory learning on homophobia, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. It also came out that the government had considered removing sex-ed classes completely for the 2018-2019 year while it developed a new curriculum.

The Tribunal intends to release a decision in the Spring. We will provide an update at that time.

Photo by Alex Guibord; cc.

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