Status quo on sex education in Ontario

As of Thursday morning I’d planned on writing this post as an applause to the McGuinty government for revamping the sex education curriculum in schools; now not so much.

If you’re out of the loop, the planned curriculum called for sex education to begin in grade one, where kids would learn basics like body parts. As they got older they’d learn about sexual orientation and eventually other, more detailed sexually oriented topics.

I came home last night to find out the Ontario Liberals have decided to table the plan for the time being after receiving backlash from religious groups. Way to back down to pressure McGuinty! It’s a shame that they’ve passed up a real chance to teach kids something useful at a young age. I never would’ve imagined a government willing to do something like this; I guess it was too good to be true.

A funny thing about this is the Liberal flip flop has those applauding the original plan now grumbling in anger. According to the Globe (linked above), the whole curriculum change was under the radar until one person complained – that says most people were either okay or indifferent about the changes.

In addition to all this, a National Post blog post says those leading the charge against changes claim the new curriculum was “part of a larger political agenda to make homosexuality more acceptable to society and to influence young children to “practise” homosexuality.” These are the people influencing our government’s decisions.

What are your thoughts on the original plan to change the curriculum, and then the flip flop by the Ontario Liberals?

No place for cheap talkin’

Last night I made a trip back to Centennial College where I spent the majority of my life after high school. No it wasn’t for a class, but for Talk is Cheap,  an UN-conference put on by the Corporate  Communications & PR students.

The sessions

We got there a little late so ended up missing the opening discussion on Social Media & Haiti but fortunately I was able to make it to School Board Social Media with T.J Goertz and Stuart Oakley from the TDSB; Being a Community Manager with Mary Pretotto from Rogers (obviously); and finally I’m not here to make friends! with Jaime Woo.

School Board Social Media:

I want to say any time I see anything to do with the government taking part in social media they automatically get kudos from me. It’s important that the TDSB is getting out there and providing that outlet where there was was none before.  The most active forum I found the TDSB takes part in is their blog; here is where they answer questions/concerns the most. The Facebook/Twitter presence is great, but my biggest criticism (and I noticed a couple in the twitter stream felt the same way) is the lack of conversation; this isn’t a big knock – it comes with time. Starting small (actually being there) is the important step. As long as questions are being answered on the Facebook and Twitter pages I see no fault in what they’re doing. Eventually though it’s important to build and promote that conversation (questions, contests, etc.) and not just answer concerns in a reactive way.

Being a community manager:

My co-worker Mary Pretotto is the Community Manager on the Social Media team here at Rogers. You likely know her as @RogersMary and she’s out there engaging with Rogers customers on Twitter, Forums, Blogs and wherever else she needs to be. The gist of her presentation dealt with building that relationship with customers online and turning it into a positive one (if negative before). She broke down how the team is separated into proactive (ie. RedBoard blog posts) and reactive outreach (ie. Twitter, forums), but engagement online is done by different members of the team, depending on the issue. Come question time it was interesting (and a bit surprising) to see the majority were professionals looking to incorporate or grow social media at their organizations. They were looking out to Rogers for guidance and best practices. It went well and I can’t wait to see her present again! (As you may know I currently work at Rogers, but I’m not a spokesperson – this is just “In Sean’s Opinion” – heh.)

I’m not here to make friends:

Jaime Woo‘s presentation compared how people use Twitter to various reality show scenarios. The title was a bit misleading, as someone brought up during question time, because the entire presentation was about how to engage and make friends on Twitter. Once over that hump, the analogies began making a little more sense. It essentially boiled down to: be real on Twitter, being fake leads to high school (or reality show) drama, and share as much as you want, but within reason.

In the end

It was a fun time heading back to Centennial for the first time since graduation. The CC&PR class put on a great event and it went off without a hitch. I can’t wait til next year!

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