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Ontario releases new sex-ed curriculum

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TORONTO—The Ontario government has released the new sexual-education curriculum, replacing a much-criticized teaching plan brought in after the Progressive Conservatives took power last year.

The province says the curriculum for Grades 1 to 8 has been updated following feedback from the public and consultation with experts.

The sex-ed curriculum comes after an interim teaching plan based on 1998 materials was put in place after the 2015 curriculum from the previous Liberal government was repealed.

The Tories scrapped the modernized curriculum that addressed consent, online bullying, sexting, same-sex relationships and gender identity.

The new document will return to teaching those lessons, but in some cases will do so when students are older.

The curriculum will also include teachings on cannabis and concussions.

Sexual orientation will be a mandatory topic taught in Grade 5, earlier than in the Liberals' 2015 curriculum, which had it in Grade 6.

Students will have to “identify intersecting factors that affect the development of a person's self-concept, including their sexual orientation.”

Cyberbullying was previously a mandatory topic in Grade 7, but that now moves to Grade 4.

Students will be expected to “describe various types of bullying, abuse, and other non-consensual behaviour,” including cyberbullying, and identify the impacts they can have and appropriate ways of responding.

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