Teen Files Human Right Complaint Over Edmonton Sex Ed Program

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Frustrated after being made to listen to a Christian fundamentalist sex ed program taught at her public school, an Edmonton teenager has successfully filed a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission.

Emily Dawson argues that the Edmonton Public School District's use of a religious, abstinence-based education program infringed upon her rights as a non-Christian.

Dawson first became aware of program last year when she took part in a two-day class delivered as part of a Career and Life Management course at McNally High School, reports CBC News.

She told the National Post the instructor "did a lot of slut-shaming to the women, and pointed out the guys as horn-dogs.”

“She really ridiculed single-parent families, she made it sound like they all give birth to juvenile delinquents.”

Dawson's mother, Kathy, told the National Post she was shocked to learn her daughter's class was being taught by an anti-abortion activist from the Pregnancy Care Centre — an American-based Christian non-profit.

When Kathy asked to have her daughter removed from the lecture she was told Emily had to complete the lecture in order to graduate. So, instead, Kathy sat in on a class.

She claims she listened to the instructor tell students that condoms don't work, that 60 per cent of boys carry the HPV virus under their fingernails, and gonorrhea has the ability to kill in three days, reports the True North Times.

“It’s values-based sex ed and all the values are evangelical values,” Kathy told the Edmonton Journal.

“It’s not even mainstream Christianity. I’m not against abstinence. But I think the message is diminished when it’s surrounded by misinformation and fear.”

Emily and Kathy, both agnostic, started a petition and eventually took legal action. Emily, now a high school graduate, told CBC News the Alberta Human Rights Commission has accepted the Dawsons' complaint.

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