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Teachers taking legal action

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TORONTO—As most students returned to class today, a major teachers' union says it is taking legal action to fight the Ontario government's decision to repeal a modernized version of the province's sexual-education curriculum.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario said it is seeking an injunction to keep the curriculum in place and to stop what it calls the government's “snitch line” where parents can report non-compliant teachers.

Ontario's Progressive Conservative government has warned there will be consequences for teachers who use the modernized version of the lesson plan put in place by the Liberals in 2015.

That curriculum touched on issues such as consent and online bullying, but some opposed parts that dealt with topics such as gender identity and masturbation.

The province has launched a website where parents can flag concerns about teachers who stray from the government's “revised interim curriculum” and also has urged parents to file complaints with the Ontario College of Teachers.

ETFO's president Sam Hammond said the union has no choice but to turn to the courts in order to protect the safety and health of students.

He added the government's decision is an abuse of power and a direct conflict with teachers' professional obligations.

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