Thursday, April 23, 2015

Parents with their heads in the sand

It is against my better judgement, perhaps, but I can't help but mention the recent developments in the proposed introduction of a revised sex education syllabus in Ontario's schools, as a group of parents opposed to the proposed changes are encouraging their children to go on strike for a week, or, rather, they are preventing their unfortunate children from going to school in order to further their own political and religious ends.
I hate to see adults using children as pawns in such political games, and I hate to see religion, and religious-based cultural views, being used as a sacred cow against which is it considered politically incorrect to argue. So, my position on this one is pretty clear.
After much research, the Ontario government has decided to alter their currently rather lame sex education syllabus to include such important issues as masturbation, same-sex relationships, online safety, sexting, and affirmative consent, and also to begin to tackle such issues at an earlier age than heretofore. This will being Ontario more into line with much of Europe, which has had such policies in place for years.
Some of the comments of the opposing parents are instructive, comments such as, "The sex curriculum that I read is completely age inappropriate, and it’s far too heavy for children at the age and maturity level that they’re in", and my personal favourite, "If you teach my kids at school, when he comes home I have to deal with him for the rest of the day". Well, sorry for the inconvenience, but that is part of being a parent, I'm afraid. And surely it is better that such issues are dealt with early than too late.
I understand that some religions are squeamish and blinkered about sex but, whether these parents like it or not, masturbation, homosexuality and teenage pregnancies are facts of life, and issues like online predation and sexting are products (however unfortunate) of the age in which we live. Better that a handful of at-risk kids, who may not have the benefit of hands-on parental involvement, are averted from a harmful path at an early and impressionable age, even if a few others have to hear some hard truths their parents would rather they not hear.
To be forewarned is to be forearmed; to stick one's head in the sand is to get a mouthful of dirt and to risk asphyxiation. I know which I would choose for my offspring.

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