Sex-Ed and Our Kids

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It’s September, and school has already started in most parts of the province. Once again, Ontario parents find themselves talking about fretting over or outright protesting the new Health and Physical Education curriculum. Sorry: “The SEX-ED curriculum”. It’s been a simmering issue all summer, and this past Wednesday’s protests at over 100 Liberal MPP offices seems to have re-ignited the issue. Some time ago I wrote a pretty lengthy review of both the objections to the curriculum and the facts about what is actually in it. At the time I was pastoring in a small church and the goal was simply to educate about facts and stem the tide of fear-mongering that was building up around the issue; I intentionally tried not to editorialize.

 It appears now, though, that protesters and people who ignore facts when forming an opinion are at it again. This time, in the words of Ottawa Citizen columnist David Reevley: “cherry picking and distorting” elements of the 245 page document “at the expense of the children the demonstrators say they’re desperate to protect.” I couldn’t agree more. Since I wrote my initial post I’ve spoken to a number of educators. In those conversations, I’ve learned one very important thing: Curricula are SUPER subjective. Leaving aside the fact that committed evangelical teachers will likely teach this course differently than, say, a committed Atheist, every teacher will teach this course differently. That’s the nature of how curricula are written; there’s broad room for interpretation by a teacher. Some teachers may teach in a way that is thoughtful, tolerant, and sensitive to each of their students. Others may, in fact, be the nightmare scenario that the fear-mongers at Campaign Life Coalition are afraid of.

Whatever is a conscientious, Christian parent to do?

Be involved.

My daughter is starting JK (in a public school) and my wife has been chomping at the bit to serve on the PTA. We are looking forward to meeting her teachers and principal in the hopes of building relationships and partnering with them as co-educators of our kids. They get my kids for roughly 30 hours a week to teach them. I get them the other 138. Anyone who thinks teachers have more influence on worldview than parents is failing as a parent. Teachers get my kids for 30 hours a week. I get them the other 138. Think teachers have more… Click To Tweet Every educator I spoke with wishes (Prays even!) that the parents of the kids in their class did this. Besides, it gives you a chance to be a good witness for the Gospel.

Good parents are involved parents. You have more influence on who your kids become and what they believe than any school board, but you have to exercise it. The alternative is shipping your kids off to school to be educated by their teachers alone and abdicating your role in the home. If you do that, you’ve already lost them and it won’t be any curriculum’s fault.

3 thoughts on “Sex-Ed and Our Kids

  1. I really liked your last post that went through everything in the new curriculum point by point… much appreciated. I do get your main idea of this post, that as parents we need to take an active role in our children’s education. But your comment, “Teachers get my kids for 30 hours a week, I get them the other 138,” is rather misleading as to how much influence they do have.

    My kid just started JK too, and I worked it out that I get my kids for about 38 hours a week at most. That’s estimating one hour in the morning before I drop them off before I go to work, three hours from when I’m done work until they go to bed, and then 13 hours per day on the weekend. And that assumes that I’m with them all that time and not doing something like serving at church, going to the bathroom, or any number of things that they could not be a part of. And that also assumes that they have any attention span left. So, at best, it’s more of a 50/50 partnership in education between parents and teachers, not quite as lopsided as 30 to 138.

    But there is another group to be involved and a responsibility we also have, and that is to other kids. I’m not sure if all kids are like this, but mine seem to listen value what other people say a bit more than their parents’ instruction. We need to be a positive influence in other people’s kids as well, whether that means being a good uncle/aunt that talks about values, or being a Sunday School teacher, or any other way we can show kids that we care and want to be an influence in their lives.

    Teachers do have a big influence on kids. Parents can have a big influence on kids. And other adults can be a big influence on kids too. The role of any of these groups shouldn’t be marginalized.

  2. Once again, Kevin, a great blog post. I couldn’t agree more. I will be sharing this with the parents at my church. Thank you for writing this.

  3. Love it, this applies to all parents, doesn’t matter if you are a religious family or not. Values are taught by Parents and Family, not the school system.

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