Kim Fry was at Mount Sinai Hospital in downtown Toronto for an appointment in 2015 when she first saw it on the news: hundreds of parents protesting Ontario’s incoming sex-ed curriculum on the lawn of Queen’s Park. Then premier Kathleen Wynne had just unveiled the revised document, which newly included discussions around consent and sexual and gender identities. It was the first update to the curriculum since 1998, and many parents wanted it gone.
At her appointment just a few minutes’ walk south of the protest, Fry, an elementary-school teacher and mother, decided to start a dialogue with those in opposition of the new curriculum. Perhaps, she thought, if she could explain why she supported it, she could change their minds. After her appointment, she packed up her belongings, walked over, and spent her afternoon talking to those on the other side of the political spectrum—parents who, unlike her, did not want teachers to talk to their students about topics such as masturbation, sexual assault, or gender identity. Most protesters she spoke with, she says, told her they hadn’t read the curriculum. To her, it seemed they only wanted to believe the “conservative slant to the story”—that the new curriculum would indoctrinate kids, teaching them age-inappropriate lessons about sex and sexuality.
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