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Is there a better way to talk about sex ed? One Montreal parent thinks so

One Montreal parent has rewritten Quebec’s sex education document in a way that he thinks is more appropriate for children.

Raymond Ayas, a father to three young children, said he was concerned that many sex ed subjects were introduced to the children at too young an age.

“As a faith parent, I was concerned that the manner in which certain materials or course content would be delivered could be contrary to my faith or world view,” he told Global News.

“These subjects are important, and they should be addressed, but the way the government wants to do it isn’t necessarily appropriate for my children.”

He recreated the document, with the help of his father, Dr. Raouf Ayas, and Father Robert J. Gendreau.

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The book — titled Réflexions pour susciter le dialogue parents/enfants sur le programme Éducation à la sexualité du Ministère de l’Éducation du Québec: de la maternelle à la 3e année du primaire (Reflections to facilitate the dialogue between parents and children on Quebec Ministry of Educations’ sexual education program: from kindergarten to Grade 3) — is only available in French for now but is already a No. 1 bestseller on Amazon.ca.

At a press conference in Montreal, Quebec Premier François Legault said he disagrees with the alternative guide.

“I’m very happy to see that we’ll have sex education courses in all of our schools and I think all children have to follow and have those courses,” he said.

Ayas says the plan is also to release volumes for Grades 4 to 6, as well as high school — in both official languages.

“Once we studied the program, we realized there were issues,” he said.

“For example, try to find the word ‘love.’ It’s not there. For a person of faith, I see the relationship as being grounded in love. Where is love in all of this? Where is the relationship?”

Ayas argues parents need to be more involved in talking to their children about sex.

“As a Christian, love is at the basis of our faith. How can you take this out of the most intimate part of life? We had to put it back in,” he explained.

“Where does a child come from? They come from love. They come because they were desired. That’s the element that was missing.”

He also insists he is not a parent who wants to ban sex ed.

“I think the government wants this program. There’s a need for sex ed, and we recognize it and we want to embrace it,” he told Global News.

“We’re not inciting people to have that cowboy attitude and just reject everything. Our hope is parents will be talking with teachers and, most of all, with their children.”

Thursday, the Archdiocese of Montreal noted that it is not involved in the initiative or the publication of this book.

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