Although most parents probably think their five-year-olds are learning the basics like phonics and how to count to 20 in kindergarten, the public school system in Chicago apparently believes ‘the basics’ also include sex education.
According to a local CBS affiliate, a new public school mandate will involve 300 minutes of sexual health education for kindergarteners:
CPS insists the curriculum will use language children understand and focus on topics like bullying, correct names for external body parts and the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching.
“As you identify body parts, you talk about should you be touched here or not,” said Stephanie Whyte, the CPS Chief Health Officer.
In addition to teaching five-year-olds about the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching and the names of all of their external body parts, the new curriculum will include what conservative critics have deemed ‘normalizing homosexuality’ by talking to the kids about all of the possible options that define ‘family structure’ these days:
“Whether that means there’s two moms at home, everyone’s home life is different, and we introduce the fact that we all have a diverse background,” said Whyte
It’s ironic this policy is coming from Chicago, considering it was the first major city in the U.S. to implement sex education in high schools back in 1913.
The new sex ed policy follows the recommendation of The Future of Sex Education (FoSE) initiative ‘National Sexuality Education Standards’ report released last year in conjunction with the American School Health Association, the National Education Association Health Information Network, the American Association for Health Education, and the Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education that includes an advisory committee with senior officials from Planned Parenthood and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
Still, Chicago’s sex ed plan sounds slightly more conservative than a universal lesson plan released by the United Nations Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) back in 2009. Apparently the U.N. recommended that even pre-Kindergarteners should learn about masturbation, concepts like “transphobia” should be introduced and kids as young as nine should be taught about legal abortions. UNESCO insisted the plan was “age-appropriate”.
Should the government push parents to send their children to classes that may contradict their moral and/or religious values? Many parents believe they should have a fundamental right to control the material their child is subjected to at school and that sexual education topics are better left at home.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit disagreed in 2005 however, ruling that parents essentially lose the right to have a say in what their kids are taught once a child walks through a public school door:
There is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children… Parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed.
Is exposure to sex education at age five contributing to the overall sexualizing our nation’s youth at younger and younger ages? Last year, a Washington college said their non-discrimination policy prevented them from keeping a 45-year-old male student who dresses like a woman from exposing himself to girls, some as young as six, who use campus locker room facilities. More recently, an Oregon high school reclassified six bathrooms as ‘gender-neutral’ for transgender and gender-nonconforming students who might feel uncomfortable using restrooms labeled “male” and “female”.
The national average to begin sex education in a U.S. public school is fifth grade; while Chicago parents have the ability to opt-out of the new program for the time being, the precedent of introducing sexual material to five-year-olds seems a bit much at the very least.
If former Hannah Montana Disney star Miley Cyrus’ recent tirade at the MTV Video Music Awards in which the 20-year-old pranced around a stage filled with people in teddy bear suits twerking in a flesh-colored bikini isn’t proof enough we live in an over-sexualized society (subsequently causing the word “twerk” to be officially added to the Oxford Dictionary), teaching kids who can typically barely write their own names about sex seems ridiculous. There’s something to be said for protecting innocence.
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