ETFO SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDS ABILITY TO ESTABLISH INCLUSIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

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News release from ETFO on the Ontario Divisional Court’s ruling on the province’s new sex-education curriculum:

Toronto – Today, the Ontario court ruled that teachers have the ability to meet and exceed curriculum expectations, a victory that the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) says enshrines the professional judgement rights of educators to establish inclusive learning environments.

“ETFO took a principled position to stop the unprecedented and unnecessary attack on kids and professional educators in Ontario,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “The government’s explicit concession on this point in court makes this case a victory for ETFO and others. I have no doubt that such a concession would never have occurred without litigation.”

In September of 2018 ETFO filed a joint legal action against the Ontario government regarding its repeal of the 2015 Health and Physical Education Curriculum and the anonymous parent ‘snitch line’ with the view that the government’s actions were in direct conflict with the professional obligations that are enshrined within the Education Act and the Standards of Practice of the Ontario College of Teachers. When the government declared that the Health and Physical Education Curriculum would revert to an older version, key topics were removed. Hammond stated that never in his experience has a government acted in such an unprecedented manner to take educators backwards.

Goldblatt Partners LLP represented ETFO in the legal proceedings that raised significant issues which the court ruled on. ETFO and legal counsel will continue to review the decision and as needed make further comments.

“ETFO has and will continue to vigorously defend members who use their professional judgement to ensure they are creating safe and healthy classrooms for all students,” said Hammond.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers and education professionals across the province. For more information on the union’s position to build better schools please visit BuildingBetterSchools.ca.