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Jawaria Sultana (left) attends a protest with her mother outside of Kathleen Wynne's constituency office in Toronto on September 2, 2015. She will not be going to school. (GETTY/MELISSA RENWICK)
With graffiti on its walls and more than 700 students absent, Toronto's Thorncliffe Park Public school is at the center of a controversy over the province's sex education curriculum. A protest was held outside the school on Tuesday, and on Wednesday the words "Shame on you" were found spray-painted on the walls. Sex education classes in Ontario, Canada will involve lessons on gender identity, sexuality and cyber identity. While many have praised the curriculum, others claim the content is not age-appropriate and sex education should be left to parents.
Volunteers and parents have been teaching lessons to students in an adjacent park since Tuesday. Around 150 students showed up in the park on the second day, even studying in the rain. The community has a large immigrant population, with many parents with strong faith-based backgrounds being the most vocal critics of the curriculum.