The Helena School Board got an ear full from angry parents last night after they revealed plans to introduce sexual education classes to children in Kindergarten.
The proposed 62-page document, which took 2 years to draft, covers a broad health and nutrition education program. In it, the board has proposed to teach kindergartners anatomical terms such as penis, vagina, breast, nipples, testicles, scrotum, and uterus. It also outlines plans to include information about same-gender relationships to first graders and explains that sexual intercourse includes “vaginal, oral, or anal penetration,” to fifth graders.
“They made this more controversial by adding in all this stuff like same-gender relationships to small children, teaching body parts to kindergartners, and teaching erotic art to ninth through 12th-graders,” said Mikal Wilkerson, who has five children in the school system and a husband who sits on the school board. “They even teach about anxiety about sexual performance in high school.”
Trustee Terry Beaver said he thinks much in the policy is favorable, but believes the public backlash means they should carve out the sexuality elements and deal with them separately.
“It appears to be a strong divisive issue. I think when the community is that strongly divided we need to take a further look at it,” Beaver said.
Beaver said his issue with the plan revolves on whether certain components are being taught too young.
“I don’t know that anything needs to be taken out,” he said. “Some of it might be age-inappropriate. We are going to have to consider how we teach it and when we teach it.”
Children in Kindergarten should be focused on developing basic skills like reading, writing, and mathematics. I think it’s irresponsible for educators to propose teaching 4 and 5-year-olds such a heavy subject.
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How do they think this is a good idea?? I would be so angry if anyone was talking to my 5 year old about sex. They don’t need to know that stuff!!
I don’t think teaching appropriate names for body parts is teaching about sex.
It teaches a healthy attitude toward the body and protects them because they know the body part to name if someone ever touches them inappropriately. Additionally, it’s not treated as the no-no area or some other name that might make kids feel shameful/uncomfortable about those parts (if the adults are too uncomfortable to name those parts, how can a kid feel safe coming forward about sexual abuse). We give children the proper names for all other body parts, why not these?
My preschooler knows she has a vulva and boys have a penis, she knows that we all have nipples, she knows that she has an anus which is different from the cheeks of her butt.
These are important things to know when you consider the difference between “he touched my butt” and “he touched my anus” or “he touched my no-no area” and “he touched my vulva.” Don’t you think? Plus, I don’t give her cutsey names for any other part of her body, it would be sending her a weird message to do that about only the parts of her body that make me uncomfortable, for some reason or other.
I think listing the other proposed ideas next to this one is confusing people and making them think that all of that will happen in K. They aren’t proposing showing erotic art or talking about intercourse in K.
“Sex education” already happens and has been for many years, even with preschoolers. Did you know that when teachers instruct your children about the difference between good touch and bad touch that that’s sexual education; but nobody objects because it’s not termed that and heaven forbid anyone touch your child because they’d never been acquainted with the concept. Addressing things in a scientific or medical based manner that is age appropriate is the direction this country should be moving in. Perhaps then we could reduce rates of STI/HIV transmission, increase the age at which teens are engaging in their first sexual activity and counteract the millions of sexual images/situations your children have the capacity to be exposed to if you permit them to watch any amount of television at all! It’s wise to understand what children are being exposed to socially, what information if given to them appropriately will do more good than harm, and then consider whether or not you object to your kindergartener having “sex education” or are you more upset over the terminology. I’m a nurse studying to be a midwife and will have no difficulty addressing sexual health with my children so that when the time is appropriate and they are faced with making a decision regarding sexual activity, there’s no confusion about what things lead to what, what activities are linked with increased risk. I’d rather my kid be in the know….rather than left to explore sexual health on their own or with the aid of their peers! IMO