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Ontario Postpones Fall Launch Of Controversial Sex Ed Curriculum: Will Rethink It

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A controversial new sex ed curriculum that would have seen Ontario kids learn about sexual orientation in Grade 3 and masturbation in Grade 6 will be postponed and reworked, Premier Dalton McGuinty said Thursday.

It’s obvious from listening to parents over the past two days that the curriculum needs a “serious rethink,” McGuinty said after an unrelated event in London, Ont.

“We’ll take the (sex ed curriculum) we had proposed putting into place back off the shelf,” he said.

The government, McGuinty added, will “create more opportunities for parents to lend shape to a policy with which they are more comfortable.”

The existing sex ed curriculum, which hasn’t been update for some 12 years, will remain in place.

The proposed changes outraged some religious and conservative groups who say they’re not comfortable with teaching kids as early as Grade 3 about same-sex families.

Under the changes that were quietly released in January, Grade 1 kids were to be taught to identify genitalia – among other body parts – using the correct word, such as penis, vagina and testicle.

In Grade 5, kids were to be taught to identify parts of the reproductive system and describe how the body changes during puberty.

In Grade 7, the plan was to teach kids how to prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

Opposition critic Christine Elliott says some of the outrage comes from a lack of consultation, adding parents should have had more say in the changes before they were introduced.