By Khaula Mazhar
We parents are appalled at being abused with derogatory comments. We oppose the new Health and Physical Education (sex ed.) Curriculum and that is all. Here are some of the issues we have with these new revisions.
Problem: Information Overload
Proposed solution: Start by showing six year olds pictures of sexual body parts and teach them ‘proper’ terms for each.
Parents’ concerns: A discussion about ‘private parts’ will no longer have much privacy. Once kids are sitting together being shown pictures and given information they don’t actually need, they will overcome their natural shyness and modesty. They will talk and joke about their parts openly, and the teacher will not be there every second with every child to supervise. All sorts of unwanted information and ideas will be exchanged. Many parents have experienced this and it came about only after the sex ed. class.
There are many children coming from traditionally modest cultures or religions that will not have had such exposure, will giving them this exposure stop them from seeing something on the internet or television? No.
It will however get them curious about something they were not previously aware of and aggravate the situation. They will go out of their way to find out more.
The obvious solution: Teach parents the dangers lurking out there. Monitor kids for what they are watching on T.V. and what games they are playing on the internet. The teacher will not come into individual homes to do this; it is the parent’s job. Put limits on the kids, they do not need to see programs that are not age appropriate or play every game on the net. There are sites that are safe like TVO kids etc. Parents must teach their children not to talk to strangers and if even a friend or family member makes them feel uncomfortable they must inform the parents immediately. The relationship between the parent and child must be so strong that the child knows it can come to the parent with anything even if threatened or ashamed of something that may have happened.
The response from Ms. Wynne: Parents are homophobic.
Proposed solution: Talking to grade four students about the dangers of sexting and the implications of sending sexually-explicit digital images.
Parent’s concerns: Many of the children will not be fully aware of sexting or sending sexualized pictures. Many will have no idea at all, however after the class they will. First make children aware of the possibilities and then request them not to do it? Children think they can find ways to outsmart adults, it is their nature, many of them will defiantly try to find ways to do it ‘safely’ and then feel proud of themselves. Does the administration actually believe that kids will only discuss this in the class with teachers? No, and those children who knew nothing about all this will now have a whole new topic to explore.
The obvious solution: No cell phones for kids until they get to high school. Monitored internet and television time. Kids do not need to be given gadgets with internet that they can take to the privacy of their rooms and then be left alone. They need to call their friends? Use the landline. The want to play a game or watch a movie, they can do both on the common television. Do they need a computer/laptop/television in their own rooms? No. We as parents need to learn to say no and set limits. We are seeing the disturbing effects of the ‘selfie’ culture. The need for constant approval based on how one looks needs to be nipped in the bud.
Kids should be out playing, reading books, watching age appropriate shows and just being kids! The argument that kids are growing up faster than they were years ago is stupid considering that we as parents are letting them. We still need to set boundaries and we can do it. We are losing the fight to the media all around us because we are letting them win. The media is now raising our kids for us, we need to take control now. The government should be working with the parents to empower them, not take away what influence we have and hand it to the school.
Since everything will be based on teacher prompts, those discussions could lead in any direction. Not all those directions will be suitable to every child. There will not be enough classroom time for the teacher to handle every child’s needs. This is asking too much of the teachers. This is a parent’s job. The real solution is to provide parents with the right information. Why does the government not want to do this?
Ms. Wynne’s response: The parents are homophobic.
Problem: STIs, teen pregnancies, rape/abuse
Proposed solution: Teach grade six that masturbation is normal and healthy. Teach grade seven and eight that anal and oral sex are ways to avoid unwanted pregnancies and STIs. As long as both partners consent, of course.
Parents’ concerns: It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what our concerns are with this.
Ms. Wynne’s response: The parents are homophobic.
The Real Problem: Sex Obsessed Mass Media
The problem is there is too much sex everywhere, what does this say about the state of our society right now? Rather than exposing our children at an even younger age to sex, thus bringing about an even earlier onset of puberty in the future (will we then be showing one year olds flash cards to teach them about sexual body parts?) why are we not focusing on reducing the amount of exposure to sex the kids are getting?
Is it really impossible to limit internet and the amount of gadgets we give our kids? Is it really impossible for us to keep track with what books they are reading and what movies they are watching? Is it impossible for us to say ‘no’ to certain television programs? Can we not set limits and curfews? Can we not monitor their activities? It is difficult, but none of this is impossible. As kids get older, they can have more freedoms and of course the older kids definitely need an updated sex ed. curriculum. But our younger children need us, they need boundaries. We are seeing the negative effects of too much freedom, why aren’t we learning from this?
Why is the government not supporting parents in this fight to protect our children’s innocence?
What is it that especially disqualifies us from the job that we are doing?
Is it that we are parents? Is the government ‘parent’ophobic?