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The Epoch Times
The Epoch Times
1 Jul 2023

NextImg:Parent Group Says More Monitoring Needed After Graphic Sexual Material Presented in SK School

The head of a grassroots parent group in Saskatchewan thinks education departments around the country need to become more vigilant about materials being offered in sex education in schools.

This comes after a deck of playing cards called “Sex: From A-Z” made its way into a Grade 9 class in Lumsden, Saskatchewan.

The cards include descriptions of graphic sexual practices involving feces, urine, and semen.

The cards were brought in by a Planned Parenthood presenter, although the organization has said the material was not part of the main presentation, calling it “secondary materials.”

In response, Saskatchewan’s Education Minister Dustin Duncan has issued a temporary ban on Planned Parenthood presentations in schools in Saskatchewan—with a review to take place over the summer.

But Nadine Ness with Unified Grassroots believes the problem runs deeper than what is being characterized as an error by one organization.

“I think there needs to be more monitoring of who has access to our kids in our school. There’s other organizations that are working to bringing this stuff in,” she said, pointing to similar incidents elsewhere.

For example, in March 2023 in Fort Nelson, B.C., the same deck of cards was used by a public health presenter to Grade 8 and 9 students, sparking concern among parents, and leading Northern Health to issue an apology on its Facebook page.

Ness said it seems to be part of a trend.

“There’s this kind of escalation of sexualizing children,” she said. “And I find that very concerning, although not surprising.”

The 26 cards have a sexual term, with a cartoon, for every letter of the alphabet.

Ness said she was contacted by parents at the school after it happened.

A former police officer, she said she was nevertheless shocked by some of the cards.

“It made me sick,” she said. And for her, equally concerning is the fact the material was brought into a school.

“The fact that facilitators … would even put that into their material to bring to the school. It shows their mindset,” she said.

For its part, Planned Parenthood has apologized to the school division for what happened.

“As part of our education and outreach programs, we also bring along secondary materials, targeted to address specific questions that youth may have about sex, sexuality, and their health. At this visit, a resource the school did not approve ended up in the hands of a student. Planned Parenthood apologizes for the difficult position that our prairie Valley School Division partners have been put in as a result of this incident,” the group said in a statement posted to its Facebook page.

However, the statement goes on to say Planned Parenthood Regina is “disappointed” with the government’s decision to suspend them from presenting in schools.

“We believe that all youth, including 2SLGBTQIAP+ youth, have the right to access relevant, affirming, and evidence-based information about sex, gender, and sexuality. Access to this kind of education has been shown to increase media literacy, delay the initiation of sexual activity among youth, decrease the risk of sexually transmitted infections, and unintended pregnancy, and prevent serious mental health crisis, including suicide among 2SLGHTQIAP+ youth,” it says.

Ness said the fact that similar incidents have happened in other schools around the country shows that governments should take a more active role in making sure materials for sex education follow approved curriculums—and keep a closer eye on what outside presenters are bringing in.

“I think the government needs to start paying more attention,” she said. “But governments are too afraid to say, ‘Hey, maybe this is not what’s best for the kids.’”

So, while she approves of the temporary measures taken in Saskatchewan in response to the cards, she believes it’s a bigger issue.

“I’m hoping they are going to make a more detailed curriculum,” she said.  “When it comes to the sex education curriculum, especially since it’s such a controversial one for parents, it’d be good for there to be strict guidelines on that, so that parents know exactly what their children are being exposed to.”

Ness said they are not opposed to sex education, but presenting things that clash with the values that parents are trying to teach their kids is creating problems.

“It’s not fitting the family’s values. And the majority of parents that I’ve spoken to are really not okay with this, like, especially the way they’re teaching the whole gender is just a social construct,” she said.

“Everyone’s too afraid to talk about it … it’s a problem,” she said.

The cards have been available through a group called Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE), which is partly funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada. The listing for the cards on CATIE’s website has since been taken down, but back in 2015—after a similar incident in a Chilliwack, BC school—a spokesperson told the National Post the cards were never intended to be used with minors in schools.