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Posts tagged ‘sex education’

When and How Should Schools Teach about Sex?

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As if the Penn State sex abuse allegations are not spooky enough, Jay’s preschool class has a scandal of its own. Yesterday, allegedly, one little girl touched another’s vagina while she was using the bathroom. Word spread among the parents and there are at least some parents who are disappointed with the school’s response. Supposedly, there was also an earlier incident where the accused toucher wanted to play girlfriend-boyfriend with the same little girl.

The principal visited the preschool class today and talked to the children about their “private parts.” I learned of the principal’s class visit from two moms in the parking lot this evening, one of whom was there.

Also, the school principal sent home a letter today informing preschool parents that a meeting has been scheduled for tomorrow to talk about children’s sexual awareness. The school nurse will lead the meeting. The letter states that she will discuss when and how to talk to your children about sex and sexuality.

An educational talk with the school nurse seems like a sound approach to me. I didn’t hear first-hand the principal’s talk, so I’ll reserve opinion on whether it was appropriate. The moms in the parking lot seemed to have expected more of the principal, the teachers, and the mother of the accused toucher.

Beyond counseling the parents and their daughter, what are the school’s obligations to other parents and students? I know I can be naive sometimes, and I hope I’m not under-reacting. I would like to think that Jay and his classmates are not at risk because the accused knows better now due to her parent’s intervention or the school’s or both. Of course, as the parent of a second-grader who struggles with understanding and respecting boundaries, I also know that there is a chance that the behavior will recur. However, I like to give the benefit of the doubt. I don’t plan to attend tomorrow’s meeting. I have a feeling that it will be a heated or tense environment, and I’m trying to have a drama-free week. I hope there is a positive outcome and that I don’t later regret skipping out.

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