Ontario’s Former Deputy Minister of Education Charged on 7 Counts of Child Exploitation
And keep them coming!
Benjamin Levin, Ontario’s former deputy minister of education, has been charged with seven counts of child exploitation, including child pornography.
He hasn’t just been charged with possessing images of children being sexually abused.
He’s been charged with arranging for sexual offences against a child, making child porn and distributing it to others.
Levin’s bail conditions include a ban on him using the Internet except at work — he’s a professor at the University of Toronto.
And he’s not allowed to use a cellphone that connects to the Internet or has a camera in it.
There are tens of thousands of civil servants in Ontario and, as a matter of statistical probability, a number will be charged with crimes every year.
But this is different.
The charge of making child pornography is the gravest immorality, perhaps second only to murder. This isn’t a shoplifting offence.
And the second factor is what Levin does. At U of T, he teaches teachers how to teach kids. And what he did.
He was deputy minister during the development of the proposed, hyper-sexualized curriculum for Ontario grade schools. Those sex lessons will start in Grade 1 — when children are barely toilet trained.
That’s relevant. Put it another way: If a deputy finance minister were charged with drunk driving, that would be awful. But if he were charged with fraud or money laundering, the charge wouldn’t just go to his personal conduct. It would raise questions about his professional work, his public policy.
Did he colour his official duties in line with his criminal mind? Did he order officials to ignore certain problems, did he weaken enforcement of white-collar crime?
Everything done at work by that deputy finance minister would rightly be questioned. All of his decisions, all of his public acts would be questioned. All his policy memos, all his e-mails would be scrutinized.
Charges of arranging for sexual offences against a child, of being a predator, are horrific in their own right. But how much darker is it that Levin had a hand in drafting the graphic sex lessons for young children?
In our legal system, Levin is innocent until proven guilty. But what about our political system?
We must also ask if changing the Ontario curriculum to bring sex lessons to children of tender years was coloured by Levin’s alleged proclivities.
The sex lessons developed when he was deputy minister, include teaching Grade 1 kids — six-year-old girls and boys — detailed sexual anatomy and vocabulary.
Eight-year-olds are taught homosexuality — not just its existence, but its legitimacy as a sexual alternative.
The new curriculum is clear on this. A wide range of sexual preferences are to be taught in an encouraging way, and any resistance — be it religious, cultural or just a child’s squeamishness with such adult subjects — is to be reformed and corrected by teachers.
Grade 6 kids will be taught masturbation; Grade 7 kids about anal sex, as opposed to vaginal intercourse, in a discussion about abstaining from sexual activity. Not objectively, but in an advocacy model.
This is extreme. Who would force such adult subjects on such young kids? And now the senior bureaucrat who promoted this curriculum is charged with sexually exploiting children.
The reason parents want to protect children as young as six from sexual things is not that parents are anti-sex. It’s that there is such a thing as an age of innocence. It’s appropriate for adults to know about sex.
There ought to be a debate about when that education happens, and with what degree of explicitness, and with what moral teachings to accompany it. But for God’s sake, Grade 1?
We criminalize pedophilia and child pornography, but not adult sex and adult pornography, because we draw a distinction between consenting, mature adults who are wise in the ways of the world, and children who we need to protect from harsh, adult realities.
Levin is accused of violating that innocence in his private life.
The trial will show us the facts.
But we already know the facts about his public life: He had a hand in drafting sex lessons for children that will destroy the innocence of thousands of Ontario children.