OPINION – I am a pretty decent parent. I have open communication with my kids and parenting to me involves talking about all of the sensitive issues peppered with my notion of values, ethics and morals. The schools help teach my children about things like spelling, writing, math and history, and I cover the rest. Right? Wrong.
A school district in Chicago is grappling with the idea of teaching sex education as early as kindergarten. What?! As these darling little 5-year-olds are busy learning how to tie their shoes correctly, share their toys and write the ABCs, I had no idea they were clamoring to learn all about sex.
I also find it intriguing that included in every single proposal for this notion of teaching these little tykes about sex is that the education must include same-sex attraction and “different family types.” They just sort of slide it in there. I guess this is the new “evolved,” “politically correct” version of sex education. And, why is that? Is it for validation and acceptance? Do we need to familiarize kids with what same-sex attraction is before they can even spell it? Sex ed isn’t just body parts anymore.
I have been very happy with the public school system in Washington County; it has excellent teachers for the most part and fantastic administrators. “The talk” about maturation comes along in the fifth grade. I realize that some parents may not teach sex ed or feel comfortable with the subject, so a little assistance from films and teachers may be in order. The fifth grade seems to be an appropriate time to discuss the matter as they are about to enter into puberty.
But how young is too young?
My rule of thumb is this: When they start asking, you start teaching. Having raised five children, not one of my kids asked about same-sex attraction or sex at the age of 5. Not one. But the public school system wants to teach our children about anatomy, healthy relationships and personal safety. What’s left for me to teach my child? It seems as though the public school system wants to make sure I am doing an adequate job and will decide what my child learns and how he or she learns it.
Chicago school districts are concerned that, with their very high statistics of venereal disease, teaching the kids about sex alongside finger-painting would help solve the problem. It’s not the answer. Better parenting is the answer. Teaching stronger values is the answer. Learning about sex in kindergarten will not thwart the rise of STDs, but good parenting can.
Children need to be children. Innocence is a precious and short time. Let them make forts and color in coloring books. If the school districts want to decide what is best for my child and parent my child, then maybe I should show up at the school all day and interfere with the teacher’s job to educate my child. If they want to “assist” me, I can certainly “assist” them. I know what my child needs.
The public school system is vying for my job as a parent, but I am not hiring.
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