At 1:00 p.m. on Friday, September 21, approximately 40,000 Ontario high school students walked out of class in protest of the provincial government’s revised sex-ed curriculum.
The #WeTheStudentsDoNotConsent protest also took place in opposition to the exclusive of Indigenous issues from the Ontario curriculum.
North Toronto C.I. is hosting a walkout today to protest the changes in the education curriculum presented by the Ford Government. The youth protesting across Ontario today are the ones who will vote in future elections. Change is coming. #WeTheStudentsDoNotConsent pic.twitter.com/iJgPtJGLRi
— Olivia Wright (@oliviawrightt) September 21, 2018
— Quietly Clicking (@QuietlyClicking) September 21, 2018
— Daisey Matheson-Schweitzer (@mathtyuiop) September 20, 2018
— Jennifer McKinley (@jenthecoachTO) September 21, 2018
Yes we can! We students can protest for our rights, fair 21st century education & a government actually for us the people. @fordnation @MacLeodLisa @ottawacity @OttCatholicSB @StPatricksOCSB #WeTheStudentsDoNotConsent #onpoli #ottpoli pic.twitter.com/24eT0wXoSh
— Nathaniel Black (@NathanielSBlack) September 21, 2018
Politicians, celebrities, students, teachers, parents and Canadians in general also took to social media to show their support for the walkout:
Upwards of 40000 high school students in Ontario are planning a walk out today in protest of changes to their sex education and indigenous curriculum. If I were in town I’d be right there with them. THE STUDENTS DESERVE BETTER!
— dan levy (@danjlevy) September 21, 2018
CUPE Ontario members, including 55,000 education workers represented by the Ontario School Board Council of Unions, stand with students exercising their Charter Rights as part of the #WetheStudentsDoNotConsent #WalkoutForOurEducation.✊
— CUPE Ontario (@CUPEOntario) September 21, 2018
— Roxanne Dubois (@roxannedubois) September 21, 2018
Dear @fordnation, tomorrow my son will be participating in an organized #schoolwalkout to protest the outdated curriculum that has been reinstated in our public schools. #Indigenous perspectives in history and inclusive sex ed #curriculum are essential. #decolonizeourclassrooms pic.twitter.com/0O0LLJn2rj
— Danis Goulet (@danisgoulet) September 20, 2018
— Oliver (@yes_sir_lester) September 21, 2018
Proud of my daughter for walking out of school today to fight for proper and up-to-date sex ed lessons that could actually save kids' lives and for indigenous education. #WeTheStudentsDoNotConsent
— Valerie Howes (@WriterValHowes) September 21, 2018
Shots from #WeTheStudentsDoNotConsent #WalkOutForOurEducation at #WesternTech today! So proud of the youth activists across the province who organized an incredible protest. pic.twitter.com/gJc33fXtxf
— Kate Curtis (@kate_courtois) September 21, 2018
Standing in solidarity with the thousands of Ontario students – including my 2 daughters – participating in the #WeTheStudentsDoNotConsent walkout to protest the government's removal of comprehensive sex-ed from classrooms. Consent & LGBTQ issues have a place in schools.
— Amanda Jette Knox (@MavenOfMayhem) September 21, 2018
So proud of my daughter and her grade 7 classmates @HopewellAvePS @OCDSB #WeTheStudentsDoNotConsent #WalkOutForOurEducation #TRC #SaveSexEd #OttawaCentre #ottpoli #canfem #cdnfem pic.twitter.com/gufa1BOOSP
— Irene Jansen (@Jansen_Irene) September 21, 2018
Today I will be joining students at their #WeTheStudentsDoNotConsent Rally @BloorCI Young people are fighting for the right to have the tools and knowledge to thrive in today’s world. Gives me great hope. Support them. pic.twitter.com/KKHfTWvjvW
— Marit Stiles (@maritstiles) September 21, 2018
In July, Doug Ford’s Conservative government announced the sex-ed curriculum in Ontario would be eliminated and replaced with the previous curriculum, updated back in 1998. The version currently in place across the province has been criticized for missing important information about sexting, same-sex relationships and gender identity.
“A lot of adults have been saying you don’t know what you’re talking about, about these issues, or you don’t have to get to have an opinion,” Indygo Arscott, 16, a co-organizer of the protests said to The Canadian Press. “But it’s going to affect us and it’s going to affect the children younger than us.”