A couple of days ago, I posted about a proposed “alternative” sex education curriculum that the Council of Catholic School Superintendents was pushing in the hopes it would be adopted in Alberta.
Their curriculum said sex was only permissible within marriage (and never before), downplayed “consent” as the main prerequisite for having sex, ignored condoms and birth control, and only spoke about various types of sex and masturbation in negative ways.
To be sure, this curriculum was never going to replace comprehensive sex education, but Catholics were hoping it would supplement it… even though the resulting contradictions and confusion was as predictable as teaching Creationism alongside evolution.
The good news is that government officials in Alberta are nixing the entire awful plan before it ever sees the light of day.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says an alternative sex education curriculum being crafted by Catholic school officials will never be taught if it arrives as previously advertised.
“Nowhere do the rights of religious freedom extend to that person’s right to somehow attack or hurt others — and that’s what’s happening here,” Notley said Tuesday. “We will not use public dollars to have sexual health programs that deny science, that deny evidence, and that deny human rights.”
Education Minister David Eggen echoed Notley’s remarks, particularly around consent.
“There’s no (room for) negotiation for that, I can tell you,” Eggen said in Calgary Tuesday. “Teaching consent is a basic health and safety issue for students in regards to sexuality, and it needs to be strengthened if anything.”
That precisely the sort of response you would hope to see from a government. They’re putting the students’ best interests first and refusing to give an inch to Catholics who care more about harmful religious dogma than the well-being of teenagers.
It’s also the kind of statement you won’t find Republicans in the U.S. making in this administration because the ruling party treats science as a four-letter word.
The Alberta government officials deserve plenty of praise for taking this strong stance against misinformation and ignorance. It won’t stop the Church from trying to spread its irrational beliefs, but it will put some giant hurdles along their path.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Prateek for the link)