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N.B. premier maintains sex-ed presentation not vetted, says investigation now underway

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New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs is promising more oversight into what is taught in sexual education programs at schools across the province.

He made the comments to reporters at the New Brunswick legislature Tuesday afternoon, in response to questions on statements the premier made on social media last Friday.

In those social media posts, Higgs stated he was “furious” by a presentation made in four schools by a Quebec-based sexual education group, and shared a photo showing the title slide of that presentation.

He wrote the material went “well beyond” its original scope, which was supposed to focus on the human papillomavirus.

The group maintains their presentation did focus on that, and told CTV Atlantic they’ve been doing this presentation in New Brunswick schools for years.

But Higgs doubled-down Tuesday, saying he’s been told that presentation was not vetted by the Department of Education and an investigation is now underway.

“I am not alone on this,” he said. “We are seeing parents from all parts of the province say, ‘Well, what are we teaching in our schools?’ So this is an indication of, all right, let's understand what curriculum is being taught, when parents are informed, when they're not informed, and no surprises.”

He maintains the group will not be allowed back in New Brunswick schools.

When asked by reporters, Higgs confirmed he hadn’t spoken to the group since he made the comments and doesn’t know what else was in the presentation.

His stance has sparked mixed reactions provincewide.

“Thanks for being firm on this. I’d be interested to know if some of the teachers or even the administration were aware and involved,” commented one social media user.

“What age is this for? These questions seem quite normal for teens,” said another.

“If we just stop and pause a moment. Perhaps these are legit questions our youth have. It’s not the proper way of course but the content may have some ground,” said another.

Higgs didn’t provide a timeline for the investigation, only that what should be included in sex education curriculum will be part of the focus, aiming to make it the same programming across the province. 

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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