05/04/2015 05:12 EDT | Updated 05/04/2016 05:12 EDT

Sex ed protest: Fewer than 10% of Peel elementary students absent

Just how many parents pulled their children from Ontario classrooms on Monday in a protest over the new sexual education curriculum proposed by the Ontario Liberal government?

According to one school district, Peel, the absentee rate was difficult to pinpoint, but officials estimated the rate of students not at school was about 14.5 per cent higher than usual.

There are a total of 111,779 Peel elementary students at 209 schools.

The board reported that 11,700 elementary students were absent from school on the first day of the protest.

That figure would represent about 10 per cent of all elementary students in Peel and would mean a 14.5 per cent jump from a typical day when an average of about 10,000 students are absent.

- VIDEO | Why 1 dad is keeping his kids at home to protest the sex ed changes

However, the school board cautioned that the number of absences was not specific to the "updated Health and Physical Education curriculum strike," and included all types of absences including field trips, vacations, bus issues, illness and other reasons.

The board offered the following break down of absences across its schools:

- Five schools with an increase of 200-250 student absences.

- Six schools with an increase of 150-199 student absences. 

- Nine schools with an increase of 100-149 student absences.

- Twenty-five schools with an increase of 50-99 student absences.

High school students in the region were also absent from school on Monday, as teachers continued a work-related strike.