Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Redux -- YES I meant I believe in sex education starting in kindergarten

So, silly me -- I thought this flap over sex education in kindergarten would be quickly over, once the facts about the Illinois law were known and that it would be dropped.

I mean we do have this very scary economic crisis going on.

But, last night, on CNN, it was brought up again by the conservative commentator, and then I heard him say, "Barack Obama supports the SIECUS guidelines, and that means teaching about body parts in kindergarten." He went on for a bit, but I didn't hear it, because I was so stunned to hear him mention the SIECUS guidelines.

Why? Well, because those Guidelines are one of the things I am most proud of in my 30 year career...I conceived them, I put together the task force of professionals from leading education and health organizations to develop them (including the CDC, the American Medical Association, and the National Council of Churches of Christ), and along with Dr. Bill Yarber, I developed the framework and edited the 1991 first version and the 1996 update. I also oversaw their adaptation for schools in Brazil, Russia, India, the Czech Republic, and Nigeria. The guidelines form the basis for some of the best curricula, including Our Whole Lives, in the country.

In other words, it was a little like listening to hearing your child "dissed" on national television. I was first proud (wait, wait, did he just say SIECUS guidelines?) and then angry about them being distorted -- and then even angrier about them being injected into the presidential campaign, as if they were a bad idea.

So, yes, sex education in school should begin the primary grades and continue in an age appropriate manner through schooling -- actually, throughout life. I think most adults would agree that our need for information actually continues into midlife and beyond (but that's a subject for another post.)

But, really, CNN commentator and folks on the right -- don't we all have much bigger issues to worry about -- like which candidate is going to do a better job on the economy and national security?

UPDATE: Huffington Post just added my more extended blog on this. Read it at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-debra-haffner/yes-sex-education-in-kind_b_126899.html

1 comment:

Kay & Sarah said...

I could not agree with you more!! Sexuality education occurs through out life. It can be honest, positive and factual or not but it will have an effect on the child and later adult through out life.