Friday, April 23, 2010

Sex In The Classroom – But I Still Haven’t Finished My Pacifier

When is the right age to teach about the birds and the bees in school?

Some say never – they believe parents should teach these things to their kids themselves. Others thank their local school boards, because they fear getting into an awkward and uncomfortable frank discussion with their own child.

In Canada’s largest province of Ontario, the politicians were thinking first grade was a good age to begin.

Public uneasiness about having kids barely weaned off of Barney learning about the differences between boys and girls has since led the provincial government to rethink the proposed new policy, delaying its implementation.

The proposed policy would have introduced sexual identity orientation in grade three, learning about masturbation in grade six, and lessons about anal and oral sex in grades seven and eight.

So, who is right and who is wrong? When are kids too young to learn about this stuff? When is it too late?

The problem isn’t so much a thing of age and time, but lack of cooperation between parents and public institutions.

Kids are naturally curious, and with technologies like smart phones, the Internet and our ever expanding digital television universe, they are going to explore and discover sex and other adult subjects eventually on their own – regardless of all the parental protections put in place.

It is better that kids learn about sex from a parent or teacher, than from flipping on a porn video at a friend’s house.

But then, how are you going to prevent your son or daughter from catching a porno at a friend’s place? You can’t be everywhere – can you?

You can forbid your child from playing at friends places, but then your children won’t develop the social skills they need to live happy, healthy lives.

Maybe instead of having specific classroom sessions on sex, each school board should have sex educators on staff. It would be no different from the child psychologists, developmental specialists, and other specialists many school boards already retain.

So that faithful day, when you learn that the reason your son has been spending so much time over at the Jone’s is because they have the porn channels available all the time, you can talk to your kid’s teacher about seeing the school’s sex educator.

And the school’s sex educator would work with you, your kid, and your teacher, to properly provide the information and counseling for all parties concerned.

That’s the real solution to sex education – it is a partnership with parents, their kids and their teachers.

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