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“We Do Not Consent”: A Look Inside the Ontario High School Protests

In response to this viral photo, hundreds of schools across Ontario took part in a walk-out protest on Friday, September 21.

In August, Ontario Premier Doug Ford decided to scrap the 2015 sex education curriculum in favor of a version identical to the one in 1998. As opposed to the 2015 curriculum, there will be no mention of sexting, staying safe online, or scientific names for genitalia. As well, there will be limited teachings about consent, our Indigenous people and the LGBTQ+ community. Plus, the units on sex will mostly focus on abstinence, rather than safe-sex teachings.

Read more about the difference in curriculum here and here.

As well, in early July Ford decided to cancel the $100M school repair fund, which will devastate schools in need of repair in the harsh winter months. This came after Ford cut the cap-and-trade plan put in place by Kathleen Wynne.

Furthermore, the PC administration has cancelled the re-write of the Indigenous studies program the Truth and Reconciliation report suggested.

These changes have angered students and teachers across the province enough to walk out of their classrooms at 1 pm Friday afternoon.

My own school in North-West Ontario held a protest  with over 50 of us standing outside in the blistering cold.

As far as we know, the other five schools in our city took part in the protest, minus a neighboring school who barricaded their doors and called the police on their students.

These protests are inspiring, because they show that students are willing to fight for proper education. We are the future generation and whenever we feel we are suffering from injustice we must stand together and fight for what is right.

Just because we protested, it does not mean the fight is over, now we must bring these issues to our MP’s (members of Parliament) or our Premier himself.

If you are from Ontario, contact your local MP and ask them what their plan is to set education straight. Even if you are not from Ontario, or Canada, you can contact the PC party on this website, or tag them in your Twitter/Facebook posts.

Photos: Nadia Zywina

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