In coming to its decision in ETFO et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen, the Court considered the Education Act, provided important commentary on the role of a curriculum generally, and clarified that Ontario teachers are expected to include all of their students in sex education and can use the 2015 curriculum as a resource to do so.
The Return to the 2010 Curriculum
On August 22, 2018, Ontario's Minister of Education issued a Directive requiring all public elementary school teachers (grades 1 through 8) to revert from the sex education curriculum that was introduced in 2015 by the Liberal government to a previous version of the curriculum from 2010 (the “Directive”). The return to the 2010 curriculum was implemented as an interim measure pending further consultations and the creation of a new sex education curriculum. The 2015 Curriculum has remained in place for secondary school students (grades 9 through 12).
The Directive sparked concerns from teachers, parents, and students that the 2010 curriculum did not address certain topics that were introduced in the 2015 curriculum, including: consent, the specific names for body parts, gender identity and sexual orientation, online behaviour and cyberbullying, and sexually transmitted infections. This decision was challenged in the Ontario courts by a number of parties.