Hundreds of people gathered at Lauren Hill Academy on Saturday for the English Montreal School Board’s annual parent conference.

It was an opportunity for parents to ask questions about everything from the recently-implemented sexual education curriculum to the resources children have when battling anxiety.

Jamie Quinn is the EMSB’s sexuality education consultant.

She feels the primary objective of the course is safety.

“This program is about children,” she said. “Keeping them safe and giving them the tools to be able to know their own bodies.”

The course initially caused some controversy, with many parents voicing concerns regarding their kids learning about sex at a young age.

Saturday’s conference helped calm those fears.

“I walked into the conference a little bit guarded and a little bit on the defence, but I was very reassured,” said parent Laura Moneta. “It was refreshing.”

Another major topic was mental health and the increasing number of kids needing access to professionals.

“What I’m seeing in the schools is that we’re having to address it more because the kids are not functioning in school and in their community as well as they used to,” said Despina Vassiliou, an EMSB psychologist.