Transcript: Talking 'Bout the Body | May 11, 2015

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, pale blue shirt, and striped gray and white tie. Behind him, a wall screen reads “The Agenda, with Steve Paikin.”

Steve says LAST WEEK, THOUSANDS
OF PARENTS ACROSS THE PROVINCE
PULLED THEIR KIDS OUT OF SCHOOL
TO PROTEST ONTARIO'S NEW HEALTH
AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION
CURRICULUM, WHICH REVAMPS WHAT
AND WHEN KIDS ARE TAUGHT ABOUT
SEX AND SEXUAL IDENTITY.
JOINING US NOW FOR MORE: NADINE
THORNHILL, SEXUALITY EDUCATOR.

Nadine appears on screen. She is in her early thirties, with afro-style hair tied up in a do. She is wearing a blue shirt and a long, thin, golden necklace..

Steve continues MICHAEL COREN, THE AUTHOR AND
JOURNALIST.

Michael Coren appears. He is in his fifties, clean-shaven and bald. He is wearing rounded glasses, and a striped suit with a white shirt and a checked blue tie.

Steve continues AND FERAS MARISH, ORGANIZER OF
PARENTS OF ONTARIO, A COALITION
AGAINST THE SEX ED CURRICULUM.

Feras is in his thirties. He is bald, with a trimmed beard, and he is wearing a black suit and a white shirt with no tie.

Steve sits on one side of the table, while the three guests sit across.

Steve continues WE'RE HAPPY TO HAVE YOU THREE
HERE IN OUR STUDIO FOR THIS
RATHER TIMELY DISCUSSION, IF I
SAY SO MYSELF.
HERE'S SOME OF WHAT THIS IS ALL
ABOUT.
SHELDON, DO YOU WANT TO BRING
THIS UP?

A slate appears on screen, with the title “Health and physical education curriculum updates.” Steve reads Grade 3: Describing invisible differences, e.g. gender identity and sexual orientation.”

Steve continues THIS IS NOT THE WHOLE THING,
JUST SOME OF THE MORE
CONTROVERSIAL ASPECTS.GRADE 3 FOR EXAMPLE,
DESCRIBING SEXUAL IDENTITY AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION.
GRADE 6: UNDERSTANDING OF PHYSICAL, SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL CHANGES DURING ADOLESCENCE. FOR EXAMPLE:IF A TEACHER IS
PROMPTED, A TEACHER, MAY RESPOND THUS EXPLORING ONE'S BODY BY TOUCHING OR MASTURBATING IS SOMETHING MANY PEOPLE DO AND FIND PLEASURABLE. IT IS COMMON AND IS NOT HARMFUL AND IS ONE WAY OF LEARNING ABOUT YOUR BODY. THAT'S IN IT.
GRADE 7 IMPORTANCE OF CONSENT AND DISCUSSIONS ABOUT DELAYING OR ABSTAINING FROM ANY GENITAL CONTACT INCLUDING VAGINAL, ORAL, ANAL INTERCOURSE.

The information is quoted from the Ontario Ministry of Education, February 15, 2015.”

Steve appears again, he says OKAY.
THESE ARE SOME OF THE SORT OF
MORE CONTROVERSIAL ASPECTS THAT
HAVE BEEN DISCUSSED.
NADINE, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS
IMPORTANT ABOUT THESE CHANGES?

Nadine says I THINK
THESE CHANGES ARE IMPORTANT FOR
A FEW REASONS.
SO IN GRADE 3, WHEN WE'RE
TALKING ABOUT DESCRIBING VISIBLE
AND INVISIBLE DIFFERENCES.

A caption below her reads “Nadine Thornhill. Sexuality Educator.”

Nadine continues I DON'T WANT PEOPLE TO GET TOO
CAUGHT UP IN THE WORD
“DESCRIBING.”
WE'RE NOT GOING INTO GENDER
IDENTITY THEORY, WHICH WOULD BE
TALKING ABOUT HOW PEOPLE MAY
IDENTIFY DIFFERENTLY FROM THE
SEX THAT THEY WERE ASSIGNED AT
BIRTH.

The caption changes to “Talking ´bout the body. A time of many changes?”

She continues BASICALLY WHAT WE'RE TEACHING
KIDS IS THAT, YOU KNOW, THERE
ARE DIFFERENT KINDS OF PEOPLE IN
THE WORLD.
YOU MAY BE ABLE TO OBSERVE THOSE
DIFFERENCES OR NOT.
BUT REGARDLESS OF WHETHER
SOMEONE IS DIFFERENT FROM YOU OR
THE SAME AS YOU, THESE ARE ALL
HUMAN BEINGS AND THEY ALL
DESERVE TO BE TREATED WITH
RESPECT AND ACCEPTANCE.

Steve and the guests nod.

Steve says TRANSGENDER, TRANSSEXUAL, THAT'S NOT UNTIL
GRADE 8, AS I UNDERSTAND.

Nadine nods and answers THAT'S NOT UNTIL GRADE 8.

Steve continues FERAS, TO YOU NEXT. WHAT DO YOU
FIND PROBLEMATIC ABOUT WHAT WAS
READ OUT?

The caption changes to "Feras Marish. Parents of Ontario."

Feras answers THE REAL PROBLEM IS IN THE APPLICATION OF THE THEORY.
ALL WHAT WE
READ IS BEAUTIFUL AND I THINK
IT'S NEEDED.
BUT WHEN IT COMES TO DESCRIBING
IT, AND I KIND OF DIFFER WITH
NADINE HERE, BECAUSE THE WAY
IT'S GOING TO BE PRESENTED, IT'S
NOT GOING TO BE BLACK AND WHITE.
IT'S NOT ABSTRACT AND PURE
SCIENCE.
THESE ARE CHILDREN HERE.
WHEN YOU PRESENT INFORMATION TO
CHILDREN, YOU HAVE TO USE TOOLS,
YOU HAVE TO USE VISUAL AIDS, YOU
HAVE TO CONVINCE THEM.
BECAUSE THEY WILL BE ASKING
QUESTIONS.
IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT, YOU KNOW,
THE BODY PARTS ARE CALLED SUCH
AND SUCH, THEY WANT TO KNOW WHAT
DOES IT LOOK LIKE, HOW DOES IT
FEEL?
I HAVE AN EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
AND I KNOW DEALING WITH
CHILDREN, THEY WILL NEVER STOP
AT JUST THE WORDS.
THEY WOULD WANT TO KNOW MORE.
THEY WOULD WANT TO EXPLORE.
THEY WOULD WANT TO FEEL.
THAT'S THE PROBLEM I HAVE --

Steve interrupts
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH THAT?

Feras continues THE PROBLEM
IS WE'RE INTRODUCING THEM TO
EXPLORATION OF SEXUAL CONTENT,
SEXUAL IDEAS, AND EVEN WHEN IT
COMES TO BODY PARTS IN GRADE
ONE, HOW ARE WE GOING TO TEACH
THIS?
IF WE WANT TO TALK ABOUT, AS IT
SAYS IN THE CURRICULUM, WE'RE
GOING TO SAY PENIS, VAGINA,
VULVA, WHAT KIND OF VISUAL AIDS ARE THEY GOING
TO BE USING?
IF THE STUDENT WANTS TO KNOW MORE OR WANTS TO EXPLORE
MORE, HOW FAR ARE WE GOING TO
GO WITH IT.

Steve turns to the third guest and says
MICHAEL, DO YOU HAVE ISSUES WITH THIS?

The caption changes to "Michael Coren. Journalist and author."

Michael answers NO, I WOULD SAY ONE THING AND IM SORRY BUT
WHEN YOU SAY ALL THIS IS BEAUTIFUL WHAT
THEY'VE WRITTEN,
Michael is addressing to Feras, He continues
I'VE COVERED THE DEMONSTRATIONS AND I'VE BEEN
TO THE FACEBOOK SITE, AND WHAT
YOU SAY, I BELIEVE YOU, SIR.
A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK IT'S VILE,
WHAT WAS WRITTEN ON THAT SCREEN THEY REJECT COMPLETELY.HOW IS BEING TAUGHT?, BY TEACHERS, BY PEOPLE WHE SPEND THEIR LIVES WHIT THESE CHILDREN,LOVING THEM AND CARING
FOR THEM.
THERE IS NOTHING INTRUSIVE HERE.
A LOT OF STUFF KIDS ALREADY KNOW.
A LOT IS PROTECTING THEM FROM
ABUSE SO THEY CAN SAY I WAS
TOUCHED AND IT WAS WRONG.
THESE CONCEPTS -- LOOK, I DON'T
WANT TO BE TOO PERSONAL.
DO YOU REALLY THINK AT AGES 11
AND 12 THAT MASTURBATION IS
UNKNOWN TO THEM?
WE'VE BEEN TOLD BY THE
ORGANIZERS OF THE CAMPAIGN
AGAINST THIS, THEY'VE BEEN
INSTRUCTED.
THAT IS A TOTAL LIE THEY ARE BEING TOLD, IT DOES OCCUR
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE ASHAMED.
WE'RE NOT ENCOURAGING YOU. WE'RE
SAYING IT'S COMMON, IT'S REAL.
WE HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT THIS IS
TRYING TO INDOCTRINATE PEOPLE
INTO HOMOSEXUALITY.
IT'S HARD ENOUGH TO GET KIDS TO
DO THEIR MATH HOMEWORK.
SERIOUSLY.
I HAVE TO SAY THE ELEPHANT IN
THE ROOM.
THERE IS A GREAT DEAL OF
HOMOPHOBIA INVOLVED IN THIS,
I'VE SEEN IT UP FRONT.
THERE'S A LOT OF PERSONAL
ANIMOSITY TOWARDS THE PREMIER OF
ONTARIO, PARTLY BECAUSE OF HER
SEXUALITY.
THERE IS HYSTERIA AND
MISUNDERSTANDING.
THERE ARE PEOPLE ALSO, AND I'VE
INTERVIEWED ENOUGH OF THEM, WHO
SIMPLY HAVE NOT EVEN LOOKED AT THE
CURRICULUM.
SOMETIMES THE NOTES THAT HAVE
BEEN GIVEN OUT BY PEOPLE WHO ARE
NOT BEING COMPLETELY GENUINE.

Steve says TONS TO UNPACK THERE.
LETS SEE IF WE CAN USE SOME OF THIS.
FERAS, THE ISSUE OF HOMOPHOBIA AMONG PEOPLE
WHO BELIEVE, AS YOU DO, THAT
THIS IS NOT RIGHT, WOULD YOU
ACKNOWLEDGE THERE IS SOME OF
THAT AT PLAY HERE?

Feras answers HOMOPHOBIA IS
NOT WHAT WE'RE LOOKING AT.
THERE'S A LOT MORE THINGS TO
FOCUS ON.
YOU JUST BROUGHT UP ON GRADE 6
TALKING ABOUT MASTURBATION AND
EXPLORING THEMSELVES AND IT´S NOT HARMFULL.
WE CLAIM OR THE MINISTER CLAIMS
TO HAVE A LOT OF RESEARCH BEHIND
THIS CURRICULUM, AND WHEN I SEE
A STATEMENT TO GRADE 6 AND THE
TEACHER IS TELLING THEM, YOU CAN
EXPLORE YOURSELF AND IT'S NOT
HARMFUL.
WE KNOW THERE IS A LOT OF
RESEARCH THAT SAYS MASTURBATION
IS HARMFUL WHEN IT GOES BEYOND A
CERTAIN LEVEL.
WHAT GUARANTEES YOU --

Steve interrupts Feras and says
SORRY, HOW?

Feras continues IT'S PSYCHOLOGICALLY HARMFUL, IT'S AN
ADDICTION.
KIDS ARE GOING TO START
INDULGING IN SUCH ACTIVITY, DO
YOU THINK THEY'RE GOING TO STOP
AT MASTURBATION --

Nadine Thornhill and Michael Coren say YES.

Feras says ALLOW ME TO
FINISH, PLEASE.
THEY'RE GOING TO GET MORE AND
MORE CHARGED AND START BECOMING
SEX OFFENDERS.
WE HAVE A CASE THAT HAPPENED IN
THE U.K. IN NOVEMBER 24TH, 2015,
A 13-YEAR-OLD BOY AFTER HAVING
THAT CLASS IN THE U.K., HE WENT
AROUND AND ASKED ONE OF HIS
CLASSMATES TO SLEEP WITH HIM.
SHE SAID NO.
WHAT DO YOU THINK HE DID?
HE WAS COURTEOUS?
NO.
HE WAS CHARGED UP.
HE TOOK HER TO AN ISOLATED PLACE
IN SCHOOL AND RAPED HER.
I CAN SHARE WITH YOU --

Steve says BOTTOM LINE HERE,
BOTTOM LINE --

Feras continues SHE DID SAY NO.
I WANT TO POINT OUT THAT SHE WAS
TRAINED TO SAY NO.
HOWEVER, BECAUSE HE WAS SO
CHARGED, HE DID NOT LISTEN TO
HER AND HE RAPED HER.

Steve continues
LET ME ASK NADINE.
THAT'S AN EXAMPLE HE'S PUTTING
ON THE TABLE.
HOW FREQUENTLY DOES THAT HAPPEN?

Nadine Thornhill turns to Steve and says INFREQUENTLY.
IF WE LOOK AT STATISTICS, IF WE
LOOK AT STATISTICS PUT FORTH BY
THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION,
IF WE LOOK AT STATISTICS PUT
FORTH BY THE CENTRES FOR DISEASE
CONTROL, IF WE LOOK AT
STATISTICS PUT FORTH BY AGENCIES
THAT STUDY THE EFFECTS OF SEXUAL
EDUCATION ON A BROAD SOCIETAL
LEVEL, YES, OF COURSE, THERE ARE
ISOLATED INCIDENTS WHERE THERE
ARE PEOPLE WHO STILL COMMIT
SEXUAL ASSAULT, WHO SEXUALLY
ABUSE CHILDREN, BUT IF YOU LOOK
AT IT GLOBALLY, THE OVERWHELMING
MAJORITY OF PEOPLE WHO RECEIVE
COMPREHENSIVE SEXUAL EDUCATION
DELAY SEXUAL INITIATION --

Feras says UNSUPPORTED.

Nadine Thornhill continues
THEY HAVE BETTER SEXUAL HEALTH OUTCOMES,
SO WE'RE SEEING PEOPLE ARE MORE
LIKELY TO USE CONTRACEPTION AND
PRACTICE SAFER SEX WHEN THEY'RE
GIVEN THAT INFORMATION.

Steve says DO YOU THINK, THOUGH -- I DO SEE IN THE
DOCUMENTS THAT DELAYING SEX
UNTIL YOU'RE READY FOR IT IS ONE
OF THE THINGS THAT TEACHERS ARE
PERMITTED TO SAY.

Nadine says while nodding
ABSOLUTELY.

Steve continues IT'S ENCOURAGED. DO KIDS ACTUALLY DO THAT?

Nadine says YES.

Steve says THEY DO DELAY?
BASED ON THE ADVICE OF ADULTS.

Nadine answers BASED ON
THE ADVICE OF ADULTS AND BASED
ON HAVING ALL OF THE
INFORMATION.
SO I THINK THAT IT'S A
MISCONCEPTION THAT IF YOU
INTRODUCE CONCEPTS OF SEXUALITY
TO YOUTH, THAT THEY WILL NOT
STOP -- THOSE FEELINGS YOU'RE
TALKING ABOUT ABSOLUTELY EXIST
AND THEY'RE VERY COMMON AND
THEY'RE VERY NORMAL.
BUT NOT TALKING ABOUT IT DOES
NOT MAKE THOSE FEELINGS GO AWAY.

Steve turns to Feras and says
FERAS, LET ME FOLLOW UP WITH YOU.
WOULD YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THERE IS A
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TEACHING
ABOUT SEX AND PROMOTING SEX?

Feras answers ABSOLUTELY.
AND I DON'T THINK THIS IS
TEACHING.
BECAUSE YOU HAVE --

Steve interrupts YOU THINK THIS IS
PROMOTING.

Feras continues THIS IS PROMOTING, ABSOLUTELY.
I'LL TELL YOU WHY.
THERE ARE ADULTS THAT ARE NOT
ABLE TO CONTROL THEMSELVES.
THERE ARE ADULTS THAT ARE
INDULGING THIS AND NOT ABLE TO
DEAL WITH IT PROPERLY.
NOW YOU WANT TO TELL A GRADE 6
STUDENT THAT IT'S PLEASURABLE?
GO AHEAD AND ENJOY IT, IT'S
NORMAL.
COMING FROM A TRUSTED SOURCE,
WHICH IS THE TEACHER.
THEY WILL FIND THAT OUT.
BUT I WOULD LOVE TO IMAGINE A
CLASSROOM WHERE THE TEACHER IS
SITTING DOWN WITH 20, 30 KIDS
AND WE'RE TALKING ABOUT
MASTURBATION.
THERE ARE RESOURCES THAT ARE --
WHETHER THEY'RE USED OR NOT
RIGHT NOW, THERE ARE RESOURCES
OUT THERE THAT WE ALL RECEIVE IN
OUR eMAIL THAT TALKS ABOUT
USING VEGETABLES TO TRY
MASTURBATION OR DOING THIS --
WHAT KIND OF A CLASSROOM WOULD
THAT BE --

Steve looks surprised and asks IS THAT IN THE CURRICULUM?

The caption changes to “Appropriate for kids.”

Feras continues IT'S NOT IN THE CURRICULUM
BUT IT'S A RESOURCE THAT WILL BE
USED.
WE HEARD LAST YEAR THE
T.D.S.B. -- SIR,

Michael tries to interrupt. Feras looks at him and continues
AT T.D.S.B.
THERE WAS A POSTER HUNG IN ONE
OF THE CLASSROOMS HOW TO GIVE A
GOOD ORAL SEX.
IT WAS THERE FOUR WEEKS BEFORE
STUDENTS NOTICED IT AND TOOK IT
DOWN.
DON'T TELL ME IT'S FANTASY.

Michael says I COVERED
THAT STORY IF I MAY --

Feras goes on
TEACHERS ARE
BIASED --

Steve interrupts both of them and says
I WANT TO MAKE SURE
EVERYBODY IS GETTING EQUAL TIME HERE.
MICHAEL, PLEASE.

Michael says I HAVE TO SAY THIS.
THE COALITION OF GROUPS OPPOSING
THIS -- LET'S TALK ABOUT WHO
THEY ARE.
I'M NOT ATTRIBUTING MOTIVE HERE.
PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW THIS IS NOT
A FAITH-BASED ORGANIZATION.
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
ACCEPTS THIS CURRICULUM.
TAUGHT THROUGH A CATHOLIC LENS.
THE ANGLICAN CHURCH SAID IT'S
OKAY.
THE UNITED CHURCH.
MANY EVANGELICALS.
I HAVE TO SAY THIS AND I MEAN NO
DISRESPECT, BUT IT'S PRETTY RICH
WHEN RIGHT WING CATHOLICS A
HISTORY ONGOING OF ABUSE WHERE
THE KIDS DID NOT HAVE THE
RESOURCES TO SAY NO TO AUTHORITY
SAYING THIS IS A BAD THING.
A LOT OF THIS IT'S IMAGINATION.
IT'S DRUNKEN HYSTERIA.
I DON'T UNDERSTAND THE BASIS FOR
IT.
THE IDEA THAT ONE YOUNG PERSON
COMMITS A TERRIBLE CRIME THAT'S
MOTIVATED BY SEXUAL EDUCATION,
THIS CURRICULUM IS PRETTY STANDARD IN MOST OF EUROPE.

Steve says LET ME FOLLOW UP WITH YOU ON THIS TOO MICHAEL,
“THE AVENGERS” IS A PRETTY
POPULAR NEW MOVIE THAT'S OUT RIGHT NOW.
I'VE SEEN IT.
TOOK MY KIDS TO IT.
EVERYTHING WAS HUNKY DORY AS FAR
AS I WAS CONCERNED.
HOWEVER, WE DO HAVE TO ALLOW FOR
THE POSSIBILITY THAT OTHER
PARENTS MAY MAKE DIFFERENT
CHOICES BECAUSE THEY THINK THE
CONTENT IN THE MOVIE IS TOO
VIOLENT OR WHATEVER.
THIS ONE SIZE FITS ALL APPROACH
THAT THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT
IS BRINGING FORWARD RIGHT NOW,
WOULD YOU ACKNOWLEDGE
POTENTIALLY PROBLEMATIC FOR ALL
PARENTS?

Michael answers I THINK
THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE
GENUINE CONSULTATION AND I THINK
THE GOVERNMENT WAS A BIT
DISINGENUOUS SAYING THAT IT HAD.
IT'S ALL BEEN PUSHED INTO A STEW
OF ANGER BECAUSE OF WHAT HAS
HAPPENED TO ONE SENIOR EDUCATION
MINISTER, AND THERE HAVE BEEN
MANY ACCUSATIONS THAT THIS MAN
WROTE THE CURRICULUM, WHICH WE
KNOW HE DIDN'T.

Steve adds WE KNOW WHO YOU'RE
TALKING ABOUT, THE FORMER DEPUTY
MINISTER.

Michael continues HIS NAME WAS
OVER POSTERS MOST OF THE
DEMONSTRATORS I ATTENDED OUTSIDE
OF QUEEN'S PARK AND THERE WERE
THOUSANDS OF THEM.
IT'S PRETTY STANDARD FARE BUT I
DO WISH THE GOVERNMENT HAD
CONSULTED MORE.
IF PARENTS ACTUALLY KNEW WHAT
WAS IN IT AND THEN REACTED
NEGATIVELY, IT WOULD BE
DIFFERENT.
FROM MY EXPERIENCE HERE, IT'S A
REACTION TO WHAT THEY THINK
MIGHT BE IN IT OR WHAT THEY ARE
TOLD IS IN IT AND REALLY ISN'T
OR THE HORROR STORIES WE HAVE
HEARD.
SOME PARENTS WILL FEEL THEY'RE
NOT BEING COMPLETELY
REPRESENTED.
THIS IS ABOUT THE MATURING OF
CHILDREN AND THE SAFETY OF
CHILDREN.
IF THERE'S A MOTIVATING FACTOR,
IT'S TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM
ABUSE.
IF THEY READ IT, THEY WILL SEE,
WE MUST LISTEN TO RELIGIOUS
REQUIREMENT.
THE ONLY WAY TO GUARANTEE NOT
BEING A VICTIM OF SEXUALLY
TRANSMITTED ILLNESS IS BY
ABSTAINING.
THIS IS ALL IN THERE.
IT'S NOT RADICAL STUFF.

Steve says NADINE, LET ME ASK
YOU ABOUT THIS NOTION THAT ONE
SIZE FITS ALL.
THERE ARE SOME PARENTS WHO DON'T
WANT THEIR KIDS TO GO TO THE
MOVIES BECAUSE THEY THINK MY
KID'S NOT READY FOR THIS YET.

Nadine answers ABSOLUTELY.
IF YOU READ THE CURRICULUM WHICH
I ADMIT IS A LARGE AND UNWIELDY
DOCUMENT AND NOT ACCESSIBLE TO
EVERYONE, BUT IN THE BEGINNING
OF THE CURRICULUM IT STATES
EXPLICITLY THAT PARENTS AND
FAMILIES ARE THE PRIMARY
EDUCATORS OF THEIR CHILDREN AND
IT IS UP TO PARENTS AND FAMILIES
TO INSTIL VALUES, ETHICS,
MORALS, RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.
IT'S IMPORTANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE
THAT THE CURRICULUM IS NOT AN
EITHER-OR.
IT'S NOT PUBLIC SEXUAL HEALTH
EDUCATION OR FAMILY-BASED SEXUAL
HEALTH EDUCATION.
I HAVE MY OWN PRINCIPLES AND
BELIEFS AND ETHICS AROUND
SEXUALITY AS WELL.
WHEN MY SON COMES HOME FROM
SCHOOL, I'M GOING TO TELL HIM
ABOUT THAT.

Steve interrupts her and asks
HOW OLD IS HE?

Nadine Thornhill answers HE'S 8
YEARS OLD.
I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH HIM
COMING HOME AND SAYING, I
LEARNED THIS IN SCHOOL.
AND SAYING TO HIM, YOU KNOW
WHAT?
IN ADDITION TO THAT, HERE'S WHAT
I WOULD LIKE YOU TO UNDERSTAND
FROM THE MORAL-ETHICAL SIDE.
HERE'S WHAT WE BELIEVE IN OUR
FAMILY.
AND FAMILIES CAN ABSOLUTELY DO
THAT.
I'D ALSO LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT
FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE
CURRICULUM, THE SCHOOLS CAN MAKE
PROVISIONS IF THE FAMILY IS
ABSOLUTELY AGAINST THEM HAVING
THIS SORT OF INSTRUCTION IN
SCHOOL.

Steve turns to Feras and asks
DOES THAT HELP YOU, FERAS, THE NOTION THAT I THINK
THE GOVERNMENT HAS NOW SAID: IF
YOU REALLY, REALLY, REALLY
OBJECT TO THIS, YOU CAN PULL
YOUR KID FROM THE CLASS AND THEY
DON'T HAVE TO GO?

Feras answers WELL THE REALITY,
IF YOU REALLY, REALLY OBJECT OR
YOU REALLY RESPECT PEOPLE'S
VALUES, LET'S MAKE THIS AN
OPTION.
WE PRESENTED THIS TO THE PREMIER
IN OUR MEETING.
MAKE IT AN OPTION.
IF YOU FEEL PEOPLE WANT TO HAVE
THIS EDUCATION, MAKE IT AN
OPTIONAL EDUCATION.
THE PROBLEM HERE IS WE HAVE A
LOT OF PARENTS --

Steve adds IT BASICALLY IS, NOW.

Feras denies and says IT'S NOT AN
OPTION.
IT'S NOT AN OPTION BECAUSE YOU
HAVE TO PULL A KID OUT OF CLASS.
WE HAVE REPORTS THAT KIDS WERE
HUMILIATED BECAUSE THEY WERE
PULLED OUT OF CLASS BY THEIR
PEERS.

Michael says something quietly; Feras makes a pause and turns to him.

He says SIR, IT SEEMS YOU'RE NOT AWARE
OF WHAT HAPPENS IN CLASSES.
WHAT HAPPENS IN CLASSES,
THEY'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THIS
NOW FOR YEARS.
THE CURRICULUM NOW IS MAKING IT
OFFICIAL.
BUT, SIR, IT HAS BEEN ACTUALLY
PRESENTED --

Michael interrupts Feras and says
I PUT FOUR KIDS THROUGH THE EDUCATION
SYSTEM.
WE NEED TO SAY SOME THINGS QUITE
CLEARLY.

Feras says YEAH.

Michael continues WE LIVE IN A
COLLECTIVE, IN A COMMUNITY WITH
ONE ANOTHER.
IF ONE GROUP, THE MAJORITY,
KNOWS ABOUT CERTAIN THINGS AND
TREATS IT WITH RESPECT, AND THE OTHER DOESN'T WE HAVE
SOME ISSUES.
PART OF THIS DOCUMENT IS
RESPECTING PARTICULAR KIDS WHO --

Feras adds AND DISRESPECTING --

Michael continues MAY FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE IN THEIR
GENDER.MAY HAVE GAY PARENTS, TWO MOMS OR TWO DADS.
IT'S TALKING ABOUT RESPECT.
I WOULD LIKE TO ASK THOSE
PEOPLE, THE PEOPLE WHO WERE
DEMONSTRATING WHO -- I WAS THERE
AND I SPOKE TO MANY OF THEM.
DO THEY ACTUALLY TEACH SEX ED AT
HOME?
DO THEY CHILDREN TO ACCEPT --

Feras adds ABSOLUTELY, ABSOLUTELY.

Michael continues DO THEY BELIEVE IN SEX EDUCATION?
WHAT DO THEY ACTUALLY THINK
ABOUT GAY MARRIAGE?

Feras says SIR, YOU'RE TRYING TO FOCUS ON -- YOU FOCUS
ON HOMOSEXUAL ISSUES.

Michael says I'M NOT.

Feras continues IT'S WAY BEYOND THIS.
IT SEEMS ALWAYS YOU FOCUS ON
THIS --

Steve interrupts Feras and asks CAN YOU ADDRESS MICHAEL'S POINT, WHICH IS WE ALL
AGREE -- HANG ON.
THIS IS IMPORTANT INFORMATION
FOR PEOPLE TO KNOW AT SOME POINT
IN THEIR LIVES?

Feras says ABSOLUTELY.

Steve continues YOU CAN DISAGREE WHEN.
NOT ALL PARENTS WILL TEACH THIS.
NOT ALL CHILDREN FEEL
COMFORTABLE GETTING THIS
INFORMATION FROM THEIR PARENTS.

Feras nods and says YES.

Steve continues
WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THAT?

Feras answers WORK WITH PARENTS.
ENCOURAGE PARENTS.
I'VE PERSONALLY BEEN WORKING
WITH PARENTS FOR THE LAST 12
YEARS TALKING ABOUT SEXUAL
EDUCATION, TALKING ABOUT
PROBLEMS IN SCHOOL, TALKING
ABOUT BULLYING, CHALLENGES,
ACCEPTING OF OTHERS.
PERSONALLY I'VE REACHED OUT TO
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE
TO TALK ABOUT THIS.
PARENTS NEEDS TO BE ENGAGED.
WHAT WE'RE DOING HERE IS WE'RE
STRIPPING THAT AWAY FROM PARENTS
AND PUTTING IT IN THE HANDS OF
TEACHERS.
BY THE WAY, THEY'RE NOT THAT
TRAINED TO DO THIS YET.
THEY'RE MAKING A LOT OF
MISTAKES.
TEACHERS ARE BIASED -- I'M NOT
SAYING ALL OF THEM.
SOME OF THEM ARE GREAT.
BUT WE HAVE BIASED TEACHERS NOT
TRAINED AND THEY'RE CROSSING A
LOT OF BOUNDARIES.
THEIR OWN INCLINATIONS AND
IDEAS.

Nadine says I WANT TO ADDRESS TWO THINGS YOU SAID.
I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH YOU THAT
THIS IS WHAT I DO AS A SEXUALITY
EDUCATOR, I WORK WITH PARENTS
AND I WORK WITH TEACHERS TO
EDUCATE THEM ON HOW TO TALK TO
THEIR CHILDREN.
SO I ABSOLUTELY AGREE.
I THINK WHAT WE ALSO NEED TO
ACKNOWLEDGE IS AS MUCH AS WE CAN
REACH OUT TO PARENTS, WE CAN'T
MAKE THEM DO IT.
AS MANY PARENTS AS I TALK TO WHO
ARE OPEN TO PROVIDING SEXUAL
EDUCATION FOR THEIR CHILDREN, I
MEET THE PARENTS WHO ARE
RESISTANT TO DOING IT, WHO DON'T
WANT TO DO IT.
AS MANY CHILDREN ARE IN
WONDERFUL HOMES WITH SUPPORTIVE
PARENTS, THERE ARE CHILDREN WHO
DO NOT HAVE SUPPORTIVE PARENTS,
WHO HAVE ABUSIVE PARENTS --

Steve adds I PRESUME IT WORKS
THE OTHER WAY TOO, THAT THE KIDS
DON'T WANT TO LEARN IT FROM
THEIR PARENTS.

Nadine continues THERE ARE ALSO VALUES IN HAVING THOSE
REINFORCED AT AN INSTITUTIONAL
LEVEL.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THINGS THAT
DON'T JUST AFFECT PEOPLE ON AN
INDIVIDUAL LEVEL.
WHEN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THINGS
LIKE SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED
INFECTION RATES.
THAT'S A PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE.
WHEN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT AN
EPIDEMIC OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND
HARASSMENT BECAUSE WE HAVE YOUTH
WHO HAVE BEEN TAUGHT THAT YOU
CAN'T TALK ABOUT SEX.
YOU CAN'T SAY THESE WORDS.
AND WE PUT THEM IN A SITUATION
WHERE THEY'RE IN A RELATIONSHIP
AND THEY'RE VULNERABLE AND
HAVING THEIR FIRST SEXUAL
CONDUCT AND WE'RE SAYING YOU
NEED TO ASK FOR CONSENT AND THEY
CAN'T DO IT BECAUSE THEY'VE
NEVER TALKED ABOUT THOSE THINGS.
THINGS.

Michael adds ON THE ISSUE
OF CONTRACEPTION.
QUITE A FEW OF THE GROUPS IN
THIS COALITION DO NOT BELIEVE, AND IT'S
A PERFECT RIGHT IN
CONTRACEPTION.
THEY THUS DON'T WANT IT TAUGHT
ABOUT ITS AVAILABILITY IN
SCHOOLS.
THAT IS A SELF-EVIDENT ASPECT OF
ANY SEX ED CURRICULUM, BOTH FOR
SAFETY AND POWER OVER
PROCREATION AND SO ON.
I KNOW, THERE ARE MANY PARENTS
INVOLVED IN THIS WHO SAY THEY
DON'T WANT THAT TAUGHT.
THERE YOU HAVE THIS CLASH OF
CULTURE.
THIS IS GENERALLY ACCEPTED BY
THE VAST MAJORITY OF CANADIANS.

Steve adds AND THE STATE SHOULD
PREVAIL?

Michael answers I DON'T KNOW
ABOUT THAT BUT THE STATE HAS A
RIGHT TO EDUCATE CHILDREN TO
UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE
PART OF CANADIAN SOCIETY.

Steve asks NADINE, HOW ABOUT TO
YOU THEN: DOES THE CURRICULUM
LEAVE ROOM FOR RELIGIOUS AND-OR
CULTURAL ACCOMMODATION?

Nadine says THESE ARE THINGS THAT ARE GOING TO HAPPEN
MORE IN A FAMILY AND A PERSONAL
CONTEXT, BUT WE DO LIVE IN A
PROVINCE AND A CULTURE WHERE YOU
ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO SEND YOUR
CHILDREN TO PUBLIC SCHOOL.
YOU DO HAVE OPTIONS.
YOU HAVE OPTIONS OF HOME
SCHOOLING, YOU HAVE OPTIONS OF
PRIVATE SCHOOL.
I WILL ACKNOWLEDGE THAT PRIVATE
SCHOOL IS NOT ALWAYS ACCESSIBLE
FROM A FINANCIAL STANDPOINT.
BUT THERE ARE OTHER OPTIONS.
YOU HAVE OPTIONS OF
SUPPLEMENTARY EDUCATION, SO, YOU
KNOW, AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS,
PROGRAMS OUTSIDE OF THE SCHOOL
SYSTEM.

Steve says OKAY. FERAS, YOU MET WITH THE PREMIER,
RIGHT?

Feras answers I DID.

Steve continues YOU MET FACE-TO-FACE
WITH PREMIER WYNNE ON THIS.

Feras nods and adds I DID.

Steve continues YOU TOLD HER ALL YOUR CONCERNS?
WHAT DID SHE SAY TO YOU.

The caption changes to "Set in stone?"

Feras answers WELL, I'D LIKE TO
FIRST CHALLENGE THAT THIS IS
ACCEPTED BY THE MAJORITY OF
CANADIANS.
THIS IS ONE OF THE THINGS THAT
WAS SUGGESTED IS, IF YOU TRULY
BELIEVE IT'S ACCEPTED BY THE
MAJORITY OF CANADIANS, LET'S
HAVE AN OPEN AND FAIR SURVEY --
IN GENERAL, EVERYTHING.

Steve interrupts Feras and says
DON'T GET TOO FAR
AWAY FROM MY QUESTION HERE,
WHICH IS WHAT DID THE PREMIER
SAY TO YOU WHEN YOU SUGGESTED TO
HER YOU WANTED TO SEE SOME
CHANGE?

Feras answers WHAT WE ASKED FOR IS WE ASKED FOR A FAIR
SURVEY, FAIR CONSULTATION, AND
IF IT IS TRULY ACCEPTED BY THE
MAJORITY, WE'LL ACCOMMODATE IT.
WHAT HAPPENED IS WHEN WE ASKED,
FIRST OF ALL, THAT OUR KIDS ARE
BEING HURT BECAUSE THERE'S A
CONFLICT, AS YOU MENTIONED, WITH
SOME BELIEFS AND SOME VALUES,
SHE SAID, OKAY, TAKE YOUR KIDS
OUT OF CLASS.
WE SAID, THEY'RE BEING BULLIED
AND HUMILIATED OUT OF CLASS.
SHE SAID PUT THEM BACK IN CLASS.

Steve says DID SHE INDICATE TO
YOU ONE WAY OR ANOTHER WHETHER
OR NOT SHE WAS PREPARED TO YIELD
OR CHANGE?

Feras answers SHE SAID CLEARLY SHE WOULD NOT WITHDRAW.
WE ASKED FOR A WITHDRAWAL.
WHEN WE ASKED WHY, SHE SAID
BECAUSE WE'VE WORKED ON THIS FOR
FIVE YEARS.
OUR ANSWER WAS, FROM 2012 UNTIL
NOW, HOW COME THERE WAS NO
PROPER CONSULTATION.

Steve interrupts and says
SHE WOULD DENY THAT,OF COURSE.
SHE SAID THERE'S NEVER BEEN MORE
CONSULTATION ON THIS ISSUE IN
ONTARIO HISTORY.

Feras says IT'S HER WORD AGAINST OURS.
LET'S PROVE IT.
WE TALKED TO OTHER TRUSTEES.
THEY HADN'T HEARD ABOUT IT.
WHEN THEY SAY 4,000 PARENTS WERE
PRESENTING 2 MILLION STUDENTS,
IS THAT A FAIR CONSULTATION?
ONE MORE POINT, IT WAS ACTUALLY
CLEAR.
WHEN THEY WERE CONSULTED, THE
INFORMATION WAS NOT PRESENTED
PROPERLY.
THE DETAILS WERE NOT PRESENTED
TO PARENTS.
THE QUESTIONS WERE SO VAGUE:
WOULD YOU LIKE TO PROTECT YOUR
KIDS FROM CYBERBULLYING?
SURE I WOULD.

Michael interrupts Feras and adds AS FOR THE
BULLYING ACCUSATION, IF ONE OR
TWO CHILDREN ARE OUT OF CLASS,
OTHERS SAY WHY WEREN'T YOU
THERE?
WHEN THE STUDENTS WERE PULLED
OUT, IT WAS THE MAJORITY.
ARE YOU SAYING THE MAJORITY IS
BEING BULLIED BY THE MINORITY?
THERE IS A LOT OF FOG IN WHAT IS
GOING ON HERE.
THIS IS A LONG CURRICULUM AND
MOST IS VERY BORING.
THE INTERESTING STUFF, THERE'S
NOT THAT MUCH OF IT.
IF PEOPLE READ IT, THEY DON'T
REACT BUT THEY REASON.
THEY STOP LISTENING TO PEOPLE
WHO ARE BEING DISHONEST ABOUT
THE THING, AND WE NEED TO ASK
FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS: DO WE
BELIEVE IN NOTIONS OF EQUALITY?
DO WE BELIEVE IN GENDER
EQUALITY?

Steve turns to Michael and asks WHAT DO YOU THINK
THEY SHOULD DO, THEIR GROUP?

Michael answers I THINK IT'S
VERY DIFFICULT BUT THEY SHOULD
GET A NEW LEADERSHIP VERY
QUICKLY.
THEY SHOULD LISTEN TO SOME OF
THE CHURCH LEADERS HAVE BEEN
VERY RESPONSIBLE ABOUT THIS.
THEY DON'T SPEAK EVEN FOR A
MAJORITY WITHIN CHRISTIAN OR
MUSLIM FAITH.
THEY SPEAK TO A POLITICIZED
GROUP, THIS BEING USED IN SOME
WAYS -- I'M SORRY, THEY'RE BEING
USED FOR POLITICAL REASONS BY
SOME LEADERS, I'VE SEEN IT
HAPPEN BEFORE.
IT'S A STRANGE COALITION.
I WAS PERSONALLY DENOUNCED BY AN
ELVIS PRESLEY IMPERSONATOR AT
THE DEMONSTRATION, SO IT IS AN
ODD COALITION.

Steve giggles a bit and he says
IN OUR LAST 30
SECONDS, FERAS, IF THE PREMIER
STICKS TO HER GUNS, WHAT DO YOU
DO THEN?

Feras answers WE'RE GOING
TO KEEP FIGHTING.
WE'RE GOING TO REJECT IT.
WE'RE GOING TO PRO.
AT THE.
WE LIVE IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY
AND PART OF DEMOCRACY IS
CONSULTING WITH PEOPLE,
ESPECIALLY AFFECTING MINORITIES.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT PROTECTING
MINORITIES AND WE'RE HURTING A
LOT OF MINORITIES HERE.
IF IT'S TRULY ABOUT PROTECTING
MINORITIES, LET'S PLAY A
CANADIAN GAME OF LISTENING TO
EVERYBODY AND FINDING A
SOLUTION.
I'M PRETTY SURE WE WILL BE
ABLE --

The caption changes to "Theagenda.tvo.org"

Steve interrupts Feras and says
PART OF DEMOCRACY IS
ELECTING LEGISLATORS TO MAKE A
DECISION AND ONCE THE DECISION
IS MADE, YOU KNOW, YOU GET THEM
UNELECTED IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE
THE DECISION.

Feras says IF IT'S A
COUPLE OF YEARS TO CHANGE THAT,
WE WILL WAIT THE COUPLE OF YEARS
AND CHANGE IT.

Steve looks at his guests and says
NADINE THORNHILL,
MICHAEL COREN, FERAS MARISH.
GOOD OF YOU ALL TO COME INTO TVO
TONIGHT FOR THIS DEBATE.
MUCH APPRECIATED.

They answer THANK YOU.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

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