Tory education critic Lisa MacLeod
Credits: DARREN BROWN/QMI AGENCY
The link generating the most controversy was to the website of the Coalition for Positive Sexuality. It includes a "Just Say Yes" page advising youths on the use of sex toys, bondage, vegetables and fingers to enhance pleasure, how to masturbate in front of a mirror, and how role play, cross dress and "talk dirty".
It read, in part: "Most of us learn that sex means a man on top of a woman, and that the only other choice is abstinence. But sex can be lots of things ... women have sex with women, men have sex with men, women have sex with men - and sometimes the best sex is with yourself!"
It described how an individual "could suck, kiss, touch, bite, fondle, nibble, squeeze and lick someone's body, nipples, calves, toes, neck" and other areas.
It talks of masturbation in front of the mirror, acting out fantasies and using sex toys. It also suggests penetration with "dildoes, vegetables, or butt plugs."
Another page titled "Cleaning Your Works" advised on how to properly clean needles for safer drug use and included a dire warning: "Sex isn't the only way you can get HIV. Another way is through sharing needles. But those who shoot drugs can still protect themselves from HIV."
The links were removed late Thursday morning, hours after QMI Agency first reported the story, TDSB spokesman Ryan Bird said.
"I know (TDSB officials) are looking at several websites... It's an ongoing process, (and) I know a number of them have been taken down," Bird said.
The TDSB's Gender-Based Violence Prevention office originally posted the link to the explicit site around three years ago, said Bird, who went on to say that the content of that website had not been checked regularly since then, and that it had obviously changed since the link was first posted.
The TDSB had stated Wednesday the intent behind the links page was "to provide sexual health information that is not covered as part of the curriculum for those that are interested." The school board also stressed that "these links are not part of the curriculum or taught in the classroom."
Charles McVety, president of the Canadian Christian Coalition, was angry after learning of the website's content, stating in a letter dated Wednesday that "The TDSB ... is corrupting Ontario's children with extraordinary, explicit instruction. It is the responsibility of the Ontario government to protect our children. According to ... the Criminal Code of Canada, it is an indictable offence to 'endanger the morals of the child.'"
Tory MPP Lisa MacLeod, the party's education critic, stopped short of calling it criminal, but did say it points out the need for new rules for school board websites that are accessible to children. She said she has written to Education Minister Laurel Broten to ask that she review the site.
"I don't think we should be making it easier for students to find offensive websites like this," MacLeod said Thursday. "When you look at a website like this, you really have to question the integrity of their website and the values that they're trying to push on today's children in Ontario."
Paris Meilleur, a spokesperson for Broten, says in an e-mail that the website is not part of the Ontario curriculum."Nor does the Ministry of Education have oversight over or approve of this type of web content," she says. "We are pleased that TDSB has said that they will review the contents of the website."
--with files from Antonella Artuso