Human rights head says sex education key lesson


Nancy Simms, director of the Centre of Human Rights, Equity and Diversity at Humber College says sexual education is important for students in primary schools, especially as it relates to matters of diversity.

Tyson Lautenschlager


It’s been 18 months since the Ontario Liberals introduced changes to the sexual education curriculum, but the uproar over the highly controversial reform hasn’t died down yet.

The curriculum, which was updated for the first time since 1998 to inform Ontario school children of safe and diverse sexual practices, has been opposed by Conservative Party leader Patrick Brown. He has come under fire in recent weeks for his indecisive approach to whether or not he wants to repeal Premier Kathleen Wynne’s curriculum.

Last week, emails were released that Brown sent to supporters in 2015 promising he would repeal the curriculum, but Brown said in a statement his views have now “evolved.”

Nancy Simms, the director of the Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Diversity at Humber College, said educating young people on issues such as consent, acceptance and LGBTQ issues are especially important as they reach the post-secondary and working worlds.

“In terms of LGBTQ issues, the statistics show there are increasing individuals who identify as a part of the LGBTQQII community,” Simms said.

Simms said the inclusion of diversity ideals are important because all Ontarians have the right to be treated with respect.

“The Wynne government has certainly put the whole notion of working, enabling, supporting and enriching the diverse communities that exist in Ontario,” she said. “I do think if we’re going to be a nation that’s going to be sustainable and competitive, that education certainly needs to start at a really young age in terms of preparing us,” Simms said.

Cora Boccia, a second-year Early Childhood Education student and lesbian, also thinks sex education needs to start early.

“Nowadays, with the media and what’s going on, children are exploring, and they don’t know who they are as a person,” Boccia said.

She says more needs to be done to teach youth in primary schools.

“They should be talking more about LGTBQ intimacies,” Boccia, said. “I feel for earlier generations that LGBTQ topics are coming more about, and they should be more talked about in classes, so parents can understand when their children come out (as queer).”

Vice-President of Ignite Student Life Ammar Abdul-Raheem said educating youth as they reach the college level is important to help students learn how to maintain stronger relationships.

“To me, sexual education is very important,” he said. “It’s important that we know how our bodies work – how to have better and stronger relationships, not just with our sexual partners, but with our friends.”

EDSS adorned in blue; school supports student battling cancer


Photo: Candace Kuepfer

By Tyson Lautenschlager // Elmira Independent // April 23, 2014

The entire Elmira District Secondary School came together as a community last week to support a fellow Lancer who was set to have surgery to remove the tumour in his tibia bone on Thursday, April 10.

Colton Kuepfer is a Grade 10 student at EDSS. Kuepfer is an athletic student who loves participating in sports, particularly soccer.

When the diagnosis came and the family found out Colton had osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, it was a very emotional time for the Kuepfer family. Continue reading

Maple Syrup Festival hands out $36,000


Photo: Tyson Lautenschlager // FRIEND OF THE FESTIVAL – Elmira resident Joe Kelly (left) received this year’s Friend of the Festival award from Elmira Maple Syrup Festival chairman Ken Jessop at a special ceremony held on June 11. The evening also included the distribution of money raised at this year’s festival, totaling more than $36,000.

By Tyson Lautenschlager // Elmira Independent // June 19, 2014

Ken Jessop, this year’s chairperson for the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival, touched on some highlights of the 50th festival, including the first-ever opening ceremonies, which took place in Gore Park the day before the festival.

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Takuma Sato Looking for Indy 500 Glory


Photo: Kreistina Blinova //

By Tyson Lautenschlager // // May 25, 2016

Takuma Sato was within one lap of becoming an Indianapolis 500 champion in 2012. A crash on the final lap while trying to take the lead away from eventual winner Dario Franchitti meant the Japanese driver fell short of his Indy 500 dreams, but Sato is ready for another shot at glory on Sunday.

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Rob Ford Funeral Procession – March 30, 2016

About Me



Interviewing NASCAR Pinty’s Series driver L.P. Dumoulin after the 2016 Can-Am 200 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park / Photo: Ashley McCubbin

Growing up in small town Ontario, I’m now a Toronto resident with a passion for Journalism. My passion began as an adolescent, and it has now grown. I am currently a second-year Humber College Jounalism student.

My journalism career began while I was in high school. I began writing for my local newspaper, the Elmira Independent, when I was 17 years old as a co-op student. I continued on as a freelancer after my co-op term ended.

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Why Journalism?

I get asked a lot what made me choose journalism for a career path. If you ask my parents, they would say it’s because I talk a lot, have a lot of opinions and I always think I’m right. Well, they aren’t completely wrong.


Interviewing Verizon IndyCar Series driver Takuma Sato on 2016 Indianapolis 500 Media Day with my colleague, Ashley McCubbin // Hunter’s Landing, Toronto, May 24, 2016 // Photo: Kreistina Blinova

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