Watch above: Community group Head and Hands rally to provide information and support on sexual education for youth after Quebec’s education ministry cancelled the program five years ago. Reporter Billy Shields has more.
MONTREAL – Teams from almost 30 local bars and restaurants came out the annual Serve volleyball tournament, a fundraising event for sex education.
“Sexual ed is important no matter what because it’s part of your health,” said Philip Campbell, the owner of Chimera Cafe, a first-time participant this year.
The event started in 2005 following curriculum reforms in the province’s educational system.
It eliminated sex ed as part of the mandatory curriculum and removing it as a stand-alone class, according to Victoria Pilger, a spokesperson for Head and Hands, a non-profit umbrella group that offers information and social services to youth.
“The Sense project stepped up to fill that void, making sure that Montreal youth got the sex ed that they deserved,” Pilger said.
In the past, the government reforms have been extremely controversial.
According to Pilger, the rate of sexually transmitted infections was on the rise when the curriculum changed.
One of the most common misconceptions that students have, she says, is the erroneous belief that there is a cure for HIV.
The organization trains about 20 animators to go into the schools and talk to youth.
Grumpy’s bar for instance, raised $6,000 for the event.
Another bar, Hurley’s Irish pub, reported also raising almost as much.
“We have two teams this year and we’re hoping to do well,” said Allison Spence, a bartender at Hurley’s.
“But at the end of the day we’re here to support a really good cause.”