Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What they're learning

My heart goes out to the teachers in the recent furor over sex education in Ontario.

I simply cannot imagine having to add vulva to the "head and shoulders, knees and toes" song.

It will be difficult and it will be embarrassing.
Also difficult: Chemistry, Trigonometry, metaphors and syntax.

Difficult is what school is for. We send our kids to school so they will learn the hard stuff we don't have time or inclination to teach them. And let's be honest here, we also hope our public education system will teach some kids, the kids of "those people" stuff their parents don't want to teach them at home: work ethic, getting a job, respect for others, and maybe just maybe, some kindness.

In all the uproar about the updated curriculum, you may want to think about your kids' access to the Internet at school, McDonald's, Starbucks and Tims with that 'phone you provided to be sure where they are at all times. Do you have an idea what they might be seeing there?

I listened to a fascinating documentary about boys, sex and the internet a while ago that left me very worried, and pretty quick to back very serious very early education for our very young kids.

The guy who was the subject of the documentary wasn't able to get or keep a girlfriend because his ideas about sex and sexuality had come from the porn he started accessing online at home when he was about 10 years old. He started off looking at boobies, but kept watching online and eventually was seeing girls who seemed to be fond of men ejaculating in their faces, drinking champagne glasses full of semen, and having anal sex with three guys on a first date. He began to see the on-screen behaviour as normal. The more he watched, the more he needed to watch to get off into the socks he brought with him into the computer room.

Your kids don't have a computer room. They have a phone. Under their covers, and dear parent, when was the last time you saw their browsing history? Oh, right, you can't.

Teaching your thirteen year old that transsexuals exist isn't teaching them how to become one, but it might prevent your trans nephew from killing himself.
Teaching your seven year old to listen to the voice in their head that tells them something isn't quite right with that too-smoochy uncle might prevent your niece from being abused.
Telling 15 year olds about the legalities of gay marriage and divorce won't "turn them gay" which seems to me to be what the protesters at Queen's Park were saying yesterday.

Click here to read the curriculum for yourself and see what you think. There's a lot in there about respect for self and others. If, after reading it, you really, really think your kid should not know that it's a bad idea to take a naked picture of themselves and send it over the web, then by all means, keep them at home. Just be sure to take away their phone, for the sake of their future, and their future dates.

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