New Brunswick bans sex-ed group from future school presentations after concerns raised

A presentation hosted by ‘Thirsty for the Talk’ discussed numerous sexual questions with students, without requiring parental permission. 'To say I am furious would be a gross understatement,' Premier Higgs said.

New Brunswick bans sex-ed group from future school presentations after concerns raised
The Canadian Press / Stephen MacGillivray
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New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs will not take no for an answer after barring a sex education group from future high school presentations.

A presentation hosted by “Thirsty for the Talk” discussed “inappropriate materials” in at least four high schools, which Higgs learned about through concerned parents.

“This group will not be allowed to present again at New Brunswick schools, effective immediately,” he said. “Children should be protected, and parents should be respected.” 

One slide from a presentation on HPV asked questions such as, “Is it good or bad to do anal?”, “Does it hurt when you do it the first time?” and “Do girls masturbate?” 

“To say I am furious would be a gross understatement,” Higgs said. “This presentation was not part of the New Brunswick curriculum, and the content was not flagged for parents in advance.” 

“Thirsty for the Talk” did not respond to a request for comment by True North.

Teresa Norris, one of the presenters, told Global News the presentation was approved in advance by the school. She claimed the content was meant to discuss the dangers of unsafe sex. 

On the group’s website, they answer further questions, including “What is furry porn” and “How does cum taste?” 

“The group shared materials that were well beyond the scope of an HPV presentation. The fact that this was shared shows either improper vetting was done, the group misrepresented the content they would share… or both.” Premier Higgs said. 

He pledged to have further discussions about whether additional rules about third-party presentations need to be updated to prevent further controversy.

“Are we trying to teach tolerance and acceptance, or are we trying to teach promotion?” posed Higgs last summer when asked about parental rights.

Last July 1, New Brunswick tabled Policy 713, establishing students under 16 who identify as transgender or 'non-binary' cannot change their names or pronouns in school without parental consent. Their legal name would be present on report cards and official documentation.

An Angus Reid poll published the following month reported that 34% of Atlantic Canadians want to be informed and provide consent on name and pronoun changes. 

Nearly a quarter (23%) of Maritimers said parents should have no role in their children's decisions. In contrast, a third (33%) want to stay informed on changes to their child's gender identity.

“We're teaching kids to develop and grow,” claimed Premier Higgs at the time. “They need to be making decisions as they get older and they get wiser.”

Despite facing fervent opposition to parental rights, he said failing to amend the policy “kept secrets” from parents. 

“For it purposefully to be hidden from the parents, that's a problem,” the premier told reporters then. “To suggest that it's OK that parents don't need to know — just stop and think about that question for a moment.”

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