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Monday, December 17, 2007

Howell Sex Ed Update: From a Parent's Perspective

From local parents:

This new curriculum is for 10 and 11 year olds. With that established, I can honestly say that the article in today's Livingston County Press leads you to believe that they are merely updating a program that is outdated. They actually had a choice of which program to use and they chose one that gives these 10 & 11 year olds A LOT of information that goes beyond normal "how the body functions" information. At one point the older brother tells his 11 year old brother that the penis gets hard so that it will fit in the vagina. Yikes! Here we go again. I guess they want to see if they can run all of the conservative students away from HPS.
They could have chosen material that explains the changes that the male and female bodies go through at puberty, but no, Howell continues to choose more advanced material that delves into the sex as early as they can get away with. The class material even gives the teacher the direction that if they chose the more advanced material that students may ask how semen gets into the vagina. Remember - 10 & 11 year olds.
Here are some comments from parents who did take the time to preview this information:
Some areas of concern:
1. Both girl and boy were counseled by other than their parents. One of the lessons was activations about how to start a conversation with parents - from a very condescending attitude it seemed to me. A kid could get from the subtle approach that parents are the last people that a kid would go to. Parents are hard to talk to and wouldn't understand. Many kids could be able to talk to their parents with no problem, but after seeing these videos and the 'lesson', might not talk to them.

2. The idea put forth that all kids will feel awkward, clumsy, and embarrassed. Simply telling kids what is going on would be plenty for many or most kids to just accept this change as normal and not be bent out of shape. No mention of improved diet to help zits and cramps, etc. It seems like embarrassment is around every corner. Drugs were pushed to meet any physical problem. A lot of mention of body odor as horrid - the worst thing. I know of kids who were so worried about this. Why create un-necessary paranoia?

3. The emphasis on infatuation with the other sex. The idea that every kid goes through many relationships before being ready, mature enough for a deeper one. I don't like the pressure on girls to think only of having a boyfriend as their only gage of value. Girls should be learning and experiencing skills, etc., developing self-respect and ability for a long time before they think about a 'deep' boy/girl relationship. Why should this potentially harmful goal be pushed on vulnerable ten year olds. How many teen marriages last? And...marriage was never mentioned. The video said it was "normal" to have infatuation for a teacher. That doesn't seem normal or usual especially in a sex ed video. A kid can really respect and look up to a teacher but a ten year old should not be encouraged to sexual infatuation.

By contrast the HIV video was direct, simple and said the truth: Don't have sex.

Maybe so much info shouldn't be given to kids so young.


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