Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

So, I keep seeing people sharing this petition and other alarmist articles related to the new Ontario Sexual Education curriculum, which is to be rolled out this September.  It’s making me twitchy. Rather than getting into multiple discussions and arguments with  various people in various places, I figured I’d try to articulate my thoughts on my little corner of the internet, and if people want to consider them and have a discussion, I’m open to that.

First, a few things about my beliefs and where I’m coming at this from:

I’m a Christian. I believe God designed sex for the purposes of enjoyment and pro-creation within the context of a committed and loving relationship between two people. (Probably two hetero-sexual people, but I also know and love some pretty amazing people in same-sex relationships, and I don’t have the time or energy to determine if their lifestyle is “sinful” or not – not my issue).

I also recognize that the majority of people in our society do not share my belief or approach to sex. Lots of people are engaging in all kinds of sexual activity outside of the paradigm of a monogamous committed relationship. Children are being raised in all kinds of settings, with exposure to all kinds of things.  Whether it’s tv, magazines, internet, or information from peers, young people are being exposed to sex and sexuality, and youth are engaging in sexual activity. Not talking about it is not going to make it stop. On the contrary, there are studies that show  that the more knowledge and education young people have, the more likely they are to make safe choices.

One of my biggest concerns with the outcry opposing this curriculum is that people jumping on the bandwagon don’t seem to actually know or understand what’s in the curriculum. I would highly encourage people who have concerns about it to read it. I’ve read  it in it’s entirety and have no concerns. None. Seriously.

*****

Here are my responses to some of the main concerns I’m hearing with regard to the new curriculum:

 

“THEY ARE STARTING GRAPHIC SEXUAL EDUCATION AT GRADE 1!!!!!!!”

The grade one curriculum includes teaching children the proper names for their body parts, including genitalia. In our home, we’ve been doing that since our children began talking, because we think it’s important that children have the proper terminology to refer to their body parts. If abuse was to occur, it’s important that children can describe what happened to them, and respond to questions with appropriate and accurate words. Beyond naming body parts, the grade 1 curriculum introduces recognizing the difference between caring and exploitative behaviours, and identifying the feelings one might experience in connection with these behaviours. I want my children to know those things – before they’re in grade one.

 

“THE CURRICULUM PUSHES A HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA!!!!!”

The grade three curriculum (and beyond)  includes an acknowledgment that people have visible and invisible differences, and that we need to be respectful of people who are different than us. Along with race, gender, disability, cultural values, and others, sexual orientation and different family models are included as ways that people differ from one another. It’s true. Our kids are going to run into people who are different than they are, and will need to be respectful (perhaps this is something that we need to teach adults as well…hmmm…).

 

“THEY’RE TEACHING ABOUT MASTURBATION!!!!!”

The following is a direct quote from the grade six curriculum, and the only reference I can find to masturbation:

 “Things like wet dreams or vaginal lubrication are normal and happen as a result of physical changes with puberty. Exploring one’s body by touching or masturbating is something that many people do and find pleasurable. It is common and is not harmful and is one way of learning about your body.”

True? I’d say so. It’s not encouraging anything or giving a how-to guide. It’s stating a fact in a non-shaming way.

 

“THEY’RE TEACHING ABOUT ORAL AND ANAL SEX IN GRADE 7!!!!!!”

The grade seven curriculum discusses STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections). Oral and anal sex are included as ways that infections can be transmitted. Through anecdotal conversations with parents and teachers, I have heard of cases where young people are engaging in these types of sex acts because they think it’s not sex and is somehow safer. Providing kids with accurate information about the risks related to these types of activities can only enable them to make better decisions.

 

“THEY’RE ENCOURAGING CHILDREN TO QUESTION THEIR GENDER IDENTITY!!!!!!”

The grade eight curriculum does address the issue of gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. It is a reality that many people experience confusion with regard to this, and by grade eight children may have experienced their own confusion, or come into contact with someone who has changed gender or expresses themselves as a different gender. Giving them language to discuss this in a safe and respectful way may help those experiencing confusion navigate it in a more positive way, and will hopefully increase understanding and minimize bullying. In my reading, the curriculum is not encouraging children to question their own gender identity, rather making the understanding that there are some people who will experience this.

 

*****

The more I’ve read the curriculum, the more supportive I am of it and encouraged by the topics included and the tone it’s presented in. Beyond the things I’ve responded to here, it includes topics relating to safety with regard to texting and social media. It talks about the importance of respect and consent. It talks about the importance of understanding the impact of engaging in sexual activity and delaying those decisions until one is older and feels prepared. In a world where kids have smart phones and computers in their bedrooms, where we hear of girls being pressured to send explicit pictures of themselves and so much more, I am so glad to know that there will be opportunities for teachers to guide discussions in a safe context about the things that kids are running into, and I hope that openly naming and discussing these things will diminish abuse and enable those experiencing it to speak out.

 

Knowledge is power. And ignorance is not bliss.

 

 

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77 Responses to Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

  1. Greg Reader says:

    Thanks for articulating this Rachel. I think the best part of the new curriculum is “It talks about the importance of understanding the impact of engaging in sexual activity and delaying those decisions until one is older and feels prepared.” The present curriculum seems to be little more than “Here’s how you do it.” The proposed new curriculum presents sex as more than a mere physical activity. It’s about time.

  2. laura says:

    Thank-you for putting your thoughts to word! I agree whole heartly!

  3. Kayla Coulter (Windsor) says:

    I love this post Rachel. I couldn’t have said it better myself. The school is picking up where unfortunately a lot of parents are slacking, and it needs to be done. I also love it coming from a religious point of view as well. There is no reason that our children shouldn’t be taught safety, respect for others and respect for themselves along with anatomy and safe practices should their actions and choices differ from what the older generation agrees with including their own parents.

    It is very easy to tell your children “no, don’t do this, it isn’t right” but that isn’t educating them. I truly believe this hinders our children in growth and development. I’d prefer them be taught in a safe environment then learning from the internet, streets and uneducated friends.

  4. Sandy Giokas says:

    Thanks for taking the time to address the various problems people may have with the curriculum. You have done a great job of clearly countering the concerns with facts and calm answers. I agree with you totally.

  5. Fran says:

    Whether or not they are addressed in curriculum, some of these topics arise in the classroom. We’ve had to discuss homosexuality in grade one because of the use and abuse of the word gay by kids on the playground. I explained it as men marrying men and women marrying women. At least with the curriculum there is guidance for language to use so educators aren’t sitting there wondering how on earth to address these moments.

  6. Caroline says:

    What you want your children to know/ be exposed to is different from other parents….this is a personal issue, to teach general information is good, but to bring judgements, to say what is “normal” or acceptable & expect all to agree is wrong. I have some real concerns of what is being taught & when!

    • may says:

      Totally agree withheld Caroline. I feel like I am being forced to accept a set of new norms and values. And worse yet, to my kids when they have no choices

      • Megan says:

        What a lot of people refuse to believe is that these “norms” are not new. And they are called “norms” because what you are talking about is NORMAL. To hide the fact that other people are different than you and your family is to bury your head in the sand. No one is forcing you or your children to accept the way others live and the choices they make. They are telling you the way it is. What you choose to accept is your own decision.

        • Lisa says:

          It’s not about “bury[ing] your head in the sand. It’s about parents being able to teach their children these things when they know their children ARE ready, not when someone else feels they SHOULD be. We have no problem teaching our children all aspects of sexuality and respect of everyone’s choices. Why shouldn’t our choice to teach our kids life lessons (rather than pass it off on teachers) be respected as well?

    • taurwennarser says:

      Unfortunately, if your child wants to move through the current landscape without a lot of criticism thrown their way, they should learn that even if they think homosexuality is wrong (bleh) they probably shouldn’t be bullying the kid with same sex parents. That’s no longer acceptable and it’s only fair that they learn that before it becomes an issue.

  7. Kathleen says:

    Very articulate. Thank you.

  8. Leanne says:

    I also heard in an interview on CBC today that the masturbation comment you quoted is actually only listed as an answer to give IF a child asks about it. It’s not even a part of the official curriculum that is taught, but only an available answer.

  9. Jody says:

    I`m sorry Rachel but I still feel that some of these subjects are being taught to an age group that may not be ready for it. In Grade Five, my son was physically sick when he was being taught about puberty especially in relation to The physical changes that girls go through and childbirth details. He was not ready for it at that age and neither was I. We did not receive any information from the school about what was being taught. Maybe then I could have filled him in on some of the details first.

    • De says:

      Well, sorry I don’t agree with this new age crap..let kids be kids , it didn’t affect my kids by not using “proper” words like penis and vagina..we used words like cookie for my daughter and peter for the boys..so big deal..they don’t use those words now as adults..are we supposed to say bowel movement and urinate too instead of peepee and poopoo..(so you are out in public and your child yells ” mommy my penis hurts or daddy my vagina is itchy ” thats cool..everyone has to listen to that because you choose to be COOL..its downright embarrassing…teaching our little ones its OK to play with themselves and enjoy it..good lord..stop this madness..this sex education will make the kids more curious, do you actually believe it will prevent teen pregnancy…no, I do not believe so..
      Children need to learn inappropriate touching, strangers are not always their friend and how to be safe..not everyone believes in same sex marriage and we don’t have to except it because you do.
      I must have been a horrible mother for the way my kids were brought..lol.
      they have respect, manners and grew up on without this garbage..
      Send your babies to daycare jk, sk, kindergarten, grades one to eight, off to high school for 4 years so thats 16…then. college or university..school, school and more school..then college or university..when do they get to be kids..hockey, soccer, dance etc..computers, cell phones, video games, no time for play, no outdoor fun..I have seen one snowman, no kid making snow angels, no tobogganing (banned in some places) no outdoor skating on ponds..my kids were outdoors every min possible ..allow your kids to be kids, why do you want them to grow up so fast..geez..you even bring them home from the hospital dressed as adults..they aren’t even babies anymore..I give up, this is just wrong !!!!

      • Saywhat says:

        Cookie? Peter? Cookies are snacks! Peter could have been sitting at the next desk! Exactly why this curriculum is important.

      • Samantha says:

        Everyone has different beliefs when it comes to raising their children. What works for you may not work for others, and that’s ok. But I wish that my elementary sex ed curriculum had touched on puberty more than it did. I didn’t get spoken to about what my body was going through or why. I was an early developer and was made fun of constantly because my breasts developed earlier than all of my other classmates and I got my period one day at school in grade 4 when I had just turned NINE a week earlier. My teacher found me on the bathroom floor crying because I didn’t understand what was happening. By the time my school started talking about sex ed, it was too late for me. I don’t want my daughter to have to go through that on her own like I did.

        As for all of the technology vs being outdoors and being kids, that falls to the parents to encourage their kids to be active outside of school. I hate it when I go to restaurants and I see parents allowing their children to play on phones or tablets instead of having a conversation. They are not learning proper social manners. But that seems to be the norm these days, ten year olds with their own cellphones and parents saying it’s for safety reasons, but not teaching the responsibility that should come with them.

        I find it a shame that children are exposed to all the things that they are nowadays, but society has to adapt to it and make our children ready for what they will guaranteed be exposed to and teach them BEFORE it happens.

      • Heather says:

        Actually, the snow has been crappy this year for snowmen, that’s probably why you haven’t seen many. Too cold, the snow won’t pack. 🙂

      • Suzanne says:

        The thing is that I work in a school and know that the children have the questions and this new curriculum answers them. Of course it is geared to appropriate age groups. Kids were more freaked out by listening to their uneducated peer’s versions. I welcome this change as I learned everything from my dad’s pornos that my brothers showed in the basement. They charged their friends admission to see. I was 11.

    • Candace says:

      I’m sorry your son feels sick hearing about it puberty in grade 5 but that is definitely an age where he should be old enough to learn about these things. Everyone is different and by grade 5 many girls have already begun puberty. Not everyone has parents at home who are able and/or willing to guide their children through this process. It’s necessary by grade 5 because not every girl has a parent at home who is able to tell them what to do when they get their period for the first time. It’s great that the school is able to provide some help during that time when girls already feel alienated and confused by their body.

    • taurwennarser says:

      I’m really sorry your son was physically ill because he was learning about puberty at grade five. I was going through puberty at grade five, including bad cramps, sensitive breasts, and acne, but your poor baby boy having to ~learn~ about.

      I don’t mean to be flippant but that’s exactly why it needs to be taught in class. The world doesn’t wait for kids to be ready. If something bad happens they should have the vocabulary ready to describe it, if someone is pressuring them to do something they need to know what’s happening. If they’re friends are suffering from actual physical processes that while normal, can still be painful, it’s only a good thing that they (and their friend) understand what’s going on.
      It’s kinda like how I expect parents to be teaching numbers and basic math to kids before grade one, but I still think numbers and addition should be taught in class just to make sure everyone is getting the solid foundation they need. I think parents should be talking about puberty to their kids before it starts happening to them and their peers but it should still be covered in class to make sure everyone knows what’s going on.

    • Kimberly says:

      Jody- The curriculum is always available online, and you can order print copies from the Queen’s printer for Ontario. I’m not sure what kind of information you would have wanted from the school – if you wanted some kind of parent curriculum Q&a session before the sex ed.unit started – bring that idea to your parent Council. That would not require a lot of work on anyone’s part. If your son is vulnerable to such strong reactions, there may be ways for the school to support him/your family but you would need to take a proactive role and advocate. Those are my thoughts as an educator and a parent.

    • Nel says:

      The Ontario curriculum is readily available online for you to read if you want to know what your child will be learning. It’s not a secret.

  10. Rusty Draper says:

    IT’S JUST WRONG. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EVERYONE READING THIS POST TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. OUR OWN CONSERVATIVDE GOVERMENT BY WAY OF GARFEID DUNLOP IS VOTING FOR THE SEX. I CONFESS THAT DUNLOP IS SIDING THE THE WYNN GOVERNMENT TO PASS THIS SEX CIRRECULUM. SO IN VERY SENCE OF THE THE ARGUMENT, GARFIED IS CROSING THE FLOOR TO UNITING WITH KATHLEEN WYNN’S GOVERNMENT TO SUPPORT THIS SEX BILL. I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD SEE THE DAY WHEN TEACHERS WOULD TAKE OVER THE RESPONSPITY THAT LIES HEAVILY ON THE SHOULDERS OF THE PARENTS … AND ONLY THE PARENTS. THE DUE RESPOSIBITY FOR SUCH CIRRECULUM TO GO TO OUR MUCH LOVED CHILDREN IS FROM THE PARENTS. IT IS THE PLAN OF AND RESPONSIBIITY OF MOM AND DAD ALONE. MANY YEARS AGO I TOOK MY SON ON A TRIP TO NIAGARA FALLS FOR A FATHER, SON WEEKEND. THE FACTS OF LIFE WERE HIGH ON THE AGENDA. I THOUGHT THE TIME HAD ARRIVED WHERE HE WOULD GET THRUTH IF HEARING IF IT WERE FROM HIS OLE DAD, RATHER THAN A TEACHER WITH AN AGENDA. IT WAS A WONDERFUL WEEKEND TOGETHER WITH MY ONLY SON. I ONLY WISH THAT GARFEILD WOULD STAND BY HIS CONSERVATIVE ROOTS AND NOT VOTE ON WYNN’S BILL. I AM A GARFEILD FAN AND I LIKE HIM VERY MUCH, BUT HE BLEW IT THIS TIME.

    • Michelle says:

      The sex ed curriculum is the least of your worries; you need to go back to school to learn spelling and how to use proper capitalization.

      • jillian says:

        amaaaaazing.

      • Cee says:

        Well summarized Michelle.

      • Chris says:

        Wow I certainly hope you don’t consider yourself a Christian or a teacher Michelle. Your comment was just plain nasty. Most men can’t spell. It doesn’t make them stupid or uneducated. It doesn’t make their values less valid. I for one have two men in my family with dyslexia. They are wiser, smarter and probably also have better values than most people commenting on this blog!

        • Kimberly says:

          “Most men can’t spell”!
          Understanding of dyslexia is important, but as a teacher and mother of two boys, I hope that quotation dies right here on this blog.
          P.S. Just a friendly reminder – God is the only one who knows who is a Christian, which is a very good thing for you and I. And I know the exact phrase isn’t in the Bible to say conclusively, but can you really imagine Jesus saying to anyone, “Well, I hope you don’t consider yourself a Christian”? It’s so ridiculous to me it makes me laugh out loud at how foolish we are sometimes. I don’t think there are any enables of Jesus telling jokes, either, (the man only had so much time on Earth and a lot to cover), but I think from above He would think it’s appropriate to laugh at how far we miss the mark *and then learn from it).

      • Nel says:

        My thoughts exactly!

  11. Dana says:

    Children don’t need to know about it. And if nobody is alarmed that the man in charge of it is a pedophile…I think it’s easier for some to not look into this curriculum and let’s look at what Gods word is in the bible.

    • mj says:

      Yes the bible

    • EmmaRN says:

      If you want to follow the word of the bible then send your kids to a private Christian or catholic school. This is a public curriculum and in my opinion religion has no place in the public system. I am a public health nurse and believe me teaching just ” the word of God” does nothing to help these kids. From my experience if kids want to have sex they are going to have sex, it’s better they have all the proper information to protect themselves.

      • shelley says:

        Our children are in a catholic school and it’s disgusting that these topics will be allowed in the catholic school system. These schools are publicly funded and are asked to follow the same curriculum other then religion…so as hard as we try to get a better education for our children even we are not immune to the liberal corruption of our children’s innocence.

        • EmmaRN says:

          I’m sorry you view it as the “corruption of innocence” I have 2 siblings who are teachers of grade 3 and 6 in public school, an aunt who teaches grade 5/6 at a catholic school, and an uncle who teaches at a private Christian school. These kids are learning about this stuff outside of school across the board. It is common discussion on the playground and easily accessible online. If you want to believe you’re kids have never encountered this stuff in school, well I’m sorry but you have your head in th sand. There are numerous studies that show that children who are informed about sexual education including contraception, consent, and all the other things in this curriculum, make smart choices to protect themselves and actually delay sexual activity longer than I’ll informd peers.
          Kids are going to do what they want to do, so unless you lock your kid in a room with no internet, tv, or social interaction they are going to hear about it. I’d rather my kids be fully educated on a natural part of life, the natural changes and feelings in your body, then hear it on the playground, from porn, or not at all.

      • Suzanne says:

        This is an Ontario Curriculum handed to us as educators. The Catholic boards have a responsibility to implement it as well.The exact guidelines! so no one will only get”the word of God” version. We stand on the premise as does the pope in saying ” who are we to judge”?

    • aspiebabe says:

      Children don’t need to know about it? I beg to differ, as a child that grew up with next to no sex ed at all, I didn’t understand inappropriate touching – I was molested as a child and then again when I was in my early 20’s because I had no idea what sexual assault actually was. Do to a lot of anti-sex talk going on around me I grew an extremely unhealthy fear of sex and sexuality. God’s word speaks very clearly how beautiful sex is! He created it to be something very amazing in the right context of course, but shouldn’t we as adults be teaching our children what God has created and for what purpose? Should we not teach our children that being a sexual being is something that he created us to be?

  12. pdawg says:

    I have yet to read it in its entirety. As you quoted it, it seemed alright. However my concern would be with the teachers taking other liberties and not sticking strictly to the curriculum.

    • cheryl cokes says:

      That is my biggest concern as well. In NB where this model has been used for some time a teacher was using sex ed bingo with vulgar terms to teach the class slng words for felatio and body parts and when confronted she was allowed to continue. Teachers are people too with their own values and like it or not they influence our children.

      • Kimberly says:

        That is terrible. (But also, not related to curriculum. That should be brought up to the NB College of Teachers for reprimand).

  13. Time4Tea says:

    Having read your post and the above comments, here’s my thoughts for what they’re worth….Kudos for a well-written, thoughtful post, Rachel. Knowing you as I do, I’m not surprised by your eloquence (did I spell that right?), or your analysis of the topic.

    As someone who has been a nurse at a church camp for 13-15 yr old co-eds, I can assure you that many parents are NOT meeting their responsibilities where sex education is involved. I’ve spoken to both children and parents about just this topic: using proper terminology, having the facts about infections and pregnancy, knowing what to expect from your body as it progresses through puberty….so many parents are either embarrassed or intimidated by the topic, and so many children have wrong information!

    Objecting to this new curriculum because “it’s not the way we did it when I was a kid” doesn’t work anymore. We didn’t have the world delivered directly to our bedrooms via the internet when we were kids.

    Saying that sexual education will make our children more curious and encourage them to be more sexually active is a fallacy….our kids are going to be curious and active because that’s human nature – just like WE were curious and active when WE were kids!

    Fighting the new curriculum because it’s supporting a “homosexual agenda” is foolish. Contrary to popular alarmist’s beliefs, homosexuals do not HAVE an “agenda”. They just want to live their lives, without fear of being bullied or abused, just like everyone else. Teaching children that we are all different and that many families may look different from our own, but we are all deserving of respect and understanding is not undermining family values or the church or society….it’s supporting all those things!

    Lastly, the fear that we’re not letting kids be kids is unfounded. Children not playing outside, making snowmen, using their imaginations, etc. is not the result of what we are or are not teaching them in school. It’s a direct result of what is being taught and valued at home.

    I’m proud of you, Rachel. For being brave enough to put your thoughts and opinions out here for the world to agree or disagree with, and most importantly, to get discussion started! I’m also proud of the mum that you are. Your boys are healthy and strong, and show all the self-assured behaviour of children who know they are well-loved by their family. Nicely done!

    • Cee says:

      Well done Rachel and well done in further clarifying/supporting Rachels words Time4Tea.

    • Jody says:

      I`m sure not all homosexuals have an agenda but Kathleen Wynne does. She proved it yesterday when an opposition member was called a homophobe. Is that what is going to happen every time someone disagrees with her? It is no different than playing the race card. As a side note, Rachel, I encourage you to read Deutoronomy 19:1-29 and Romans 1:26-27 to learn God`s views on homosexuality. God Bless!

      • Mel Middleton says:

        Jody, I think you have hit the nail on the head. While there is much in Rachel’s article that is true (and I applaud her for raising this issue in a respectful way), it is almost certain that the new curriculum is not a “values neutral” discussion on sex education or making children safe from inappropriate sex. It is far too likely to become another tool to bash Christians (those who do hold to historic Christian teachings on marriage and sex) over the head, and drive a wedge between them and their children. This, however, need not be the case. What is needed is for the churches in Ontario — at least those that still believe in God — as well as Christian academic institutions and concerned parents, to offer an addendum to the curriculum explaining, point by point, where it could be misconstrued and/or abused to promote an anti-religious agenda, as well as affirming what is positive in the teaching. This, no doubt, could take considerable effort. But children are worth that effort. And it will be more effective than simply firing back with negative attacks though respectful opposition to this is certainly warranted.

        • Donna says:

          Mel, when you say that “what is needed is for the churches in Ontario…..as well as Christian academic institutions….to explain where it could be abused to promote an anti-religions agenda”, you forget to mention synagogues, mosques and other religions, who are all part of the public school system. We are not strictly Christian and therefore cannot go by only Christian beliefs. Quoting the bible will not mean much to people who are not Christian, but who are part of the public school system. That doesn’t mean that peoples’ spiritual values are not important or should not be heard, but it can’t be assumed that “Christian” values should be followed by the school boards. We have to include all faiths, values and ideals.

          • Kimberly says:

            Well said Donna.
            It’s not the school’s job to teach a particular set of values, beyond universals of Respect. It is the families ‘ and religious instutions’ job to teach ( and model ) their particular value set. It is both parties job to teach sex ed. Because as is often said, many families do not equip their children to navigate safely through adolescent sexual development, along any value pathway.

          • Mel Middleton says:

            Donna I would agree. I was focusing simply on ways to ensure that the values of the children of Christian parents are not trampled by this new curriculum. The mosques and synagogues are more than likely to do this on their own and instruct their children accordingly. The problem is that Christians generally don’t take the time necessary to involve themselves in such activities. For almost a century, Christians in Canada have withdrawn from the social/cultural/political landscape, and this is especially the case with regard to education and the media.

          • Donna says:

            I see Mel, and in that I would agree with you, that too many families are not taking the time to talk to their children. I also think that parents should have the right to excuse their children from a class if they have moral objections to the material.

      • Sarah says:

        If you want your children to learn about God’s intent for sex please send them to a Christian school or homeschool them (and only let them play in Christian homes). In the meantime, if you are going to use the public education system you will need to prepare yourself for what is coming.

        Look up from your bible – Jesus didn’t have his head in a book and He still managed to make quite the impact.

        IF you are going to bubble wrap your child in the Christian life, be prepared for anger, shame, and lash-back in years to come. Even after becoming a parent that teaches choosing ones’ faith, I wrestle daily with the shame that was blanketed on me by “God’s word”.

      • Jen says:

        Jody, I encourage you to read 1 John 4:8.

        • Jody says:

          Thank you Jen. I have a homosexual cousin who is married to her partner who I treat with kindness and respect. I am also the VBS Director at our church and we have a homosexual pair that bring their children. They are always shown the love of Jesus. Just because I do not agree with homosexuality doesn`t mean that I would treat anyone any differently and I try to minister to everyone. It is not up to me to judge. We, including me, will all be judged accordingly by God. Good verse!

      • Kimberly says:

        If homosexuality is a salvation issue, then all of us heterosexuals who judge, lose our temper, take God’s name in vain, have ever disrespected our parents or not given literally everything we own to the poor (having, of course, taken in at least once widow and a troop of orphans)… Well, we’re all doomed.
        People, Jesus knew exactly what the 20th and 21st centuries were going to look like, and what did He use His precious little time on Earth to do? Grace, mercy, judge not, take care of my sheep, love for the day is near. Take care of the poor, do not be hypocrites.Spread the good news.
        PS – I know my limits, and have my work cut out for me following Jesus’s example of Love. I am certain in His mercy He will understand if I can’t master unconditional love, before I hit the pillow. I have faith He will think I’ve been a good and faithful servant if I keep working on it and let Him know the hearts of those around me: homo, hetero, married, not, sexually active, not .

      • aspiebabe says:

        I am a homosexual, and you want to know what my agenda is? You can look right into my day planner! My personal agenda is to live a life of love the best way I can possibly live. I do my best to understand other people, and my goal in life is to live love to the fullest. As a person with PTSD due to sexual abuse my main goal aside from living a life of love, is to live as stable as possible. (I went to a Christian school where the only sex ed i ever had was being taught that i’d get a period. I wasn’t told why, i was just told that girls get it. mind you this lesson was 2 years AFTER I got mine! Then in a christian high school we watched a birthing video – that’s all the sex ed I got. and from that I learned that sex was something bad, something to hide and something to be shameful of – as a result when I was raped I never told anyone for years…)

        • Mel Middleton says:

          Not all “gays” are involved in the gay agenda; in fact most are not. Many are not aware of it, and some “gays” (and many ex-gays) actively oppose it. But there definitely is a gay agenda. (Read “After the Ball”, by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen for starters). It is part of a much broader agenda, the ultimate goal of which is something Christians need to oppose.

        • Mel Middleton says:

          Supporting the Christian view of marriage and sex does not imply that we should treat anyone poorly. We are commanded to love everyone, even our enemies. And for sure this includes people who are not regarded as the “social norm”. We can and must treat everyone with love and respect. But that does not mean endorsing everything that person does. Love demands that we do what is best for that person, whether or not he/she understands that. What child comprehends and accepts the dentist’s drill as an “act of love”? Yet parents who love their children make them endure it….because it is, in the end, the loving thing to do. The parent who tolerates his child playing on the busy road is not doing the “loving” thing, even though it is the “tolerant” thing. In the same way, Christians are called to stand for justice and righteousness, even though it is not seen as such by the world at the time. Those who, in the 19th century, lobbied against slavery were regarded as being hateful and annoying but those who held slaves.

    • Nikki says:

      You nailed all my thoughts right on the head very well said !!! :):) Thank you for the insight

  14. Tracy says:

    I get what you are saying Rachel but somehow feel that it is the attitude of a lot of people these days “it’s the way the world is today”. Children really need to be educated by their parents, when their parents feel their child is ready. I have 4 children ages 16-9 and they are all at different levels of maturity. Some were given sexual information at younger ages then others because they inquired about it earlier. But the information that was given and how far I went with it was my decision not the school boards. I also get that some children don’t have this relationship at home and they need to be educated on it, but that doesn’t mean my child needs to be given that same information. My 12 year old child made the decision this year to not attend the sex ed health classes, not because he is a prude or bring kept in a bubble by his parents, but because he was uncomfortable.

    • Megan says:

      Unfortunately a lot of children will never just “inquire” about sexual information, well not from their parents anyways. The scary truth is that they will discuss it with and ask questions of their friends who may or may not know the correct answers. All the new curriculum is doing is preparing your child for what surely is to come. And likely sooner than you are willing to admit. In my personal opinion I would like my children to be prepared and not be shocked by what is happening in the real world.

    • Also unfortunate is that parents and children who exempt themselves from the relationship and social portion of this curriculum, will be the teens who conveniently “skipped” the lesson on how none of them “owe” sex to anyone that they begin relationships with, and more importantly, that the young man or woman that they date does not owe sex to them. Pressure and manipulation and reputation-bashing is extensively covered in this course (and was before the update), and the children who skipped that will be out there in a few years trying to date my daughter.

    • Lisa says:

      I agree with you Tracy…my thoughts exactly. I realize that “pressure and manipulation and reputation-bashing” (as Kat put it) is part of the curriculum. Why is it acceptable that those of us who actually want to have open, frank discussions with our children are subject to “pressure and manipulation and reputation-bashing”? Why is it that difference in sexual-orientation (which I have no problem with) is accepted, but difference in maturity level is not? I know that not everyone is comfortable with talking to their children about sex. For those who are not, there are other alternatives, such as after-hours school information sessions or Public Health Units.

  15. Chris says:

    To all the parents freaking out about this. If you think you can do a better job, or that it is inappropriate material for the age of your child, simply request that your child be removed from the class and have alternate arrangements made. (You can do this instead of making such a huge deal about this entire issue). For those of you that sit there and complain that it isn’t right for schools to be making children aware of homosexuality and the various genders present in our society today, I feel sorry for your children. You sit there and say the government is forcing beliefs on your children, but you are choosing to do the same thing to them. Why not have a discussion with them and let them choose for themselves? There are teens who have come out and have been so relentlessly bullied at school and online that they have felt the only way out was to end their own lives. This is what all of you want to continue to happen? Teaching our children about these things will help them understand and accept each individual for who they are. Like it or not, this is a part of our society today. If we arm them with this knowledge, then maybe, JUST MAYBE, children going through issues with gender identity or coming out, will feel less threatened and accepted. In my books, the more acceptance, understanding and tolerance we have among our younger generations, the better off they will be.

    PS: I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church, was educated in the catholic school board and choose NOT to practice specifically because of the church’s stance on homosexuals and transgendered people. Any religion that excludes people based on how/who they love, is not a religion I ever would want to be a part of.

    • Kimberly says:

      That is true, Chris. People accusing Education of forcing a value set on students, seem to be doing it themselves to their kids. And It seems to work out that those kids who don’t get to DISCUSS these things at home, ask questions or be encouraged to develop convictions… these seem to be the children who walk away from faith.
      My children know without a doubt that I believe God is our Creator, that in Jesus we have forgiveness for our wrongs through which we have relationship with this Creator. They I believe God meant sex for marriage as His good plan for us. They know because they see my example. … And many different examples, and we talk about it. I don’t even wait for them to ask sometimes, but when they ask, we talk.
      And our conversations begin and end with their need to always think for themselves, ask God for guidance. The One Christian teaching I ask them to hold to us that God alone judges, and He is very clear that He expects us to be loving.

      • Mel Middleton says:

        Kimberley, it is the responsibility of parents to instill moral values in their children. This can be done improperly or in the right way, but the fact that some parents do it badly does not mean parents do not have that obligation. It is not the responsibility of the education system. Nor should schools, undermine the values which parents provide to their children. The fear here is that this new curriculum does just that. What Christian parents need to do is learn from Christians living in Communist, or Muslim countries, where their children are taught concepts which directly violate the Christian faith. That is the new paradigm we are entering into in Canada. Parents who send their children to public schools need to be aware that the information they are given in many instances will directly contradict essential teachings of Christianity. And they better be prepared to compensate for this through considerable interaction with their children outside the classroom to assist them in understanding and handling this contradiction.

        • taurwennarser says:

          It is the obligation of the school system to create functioning, helpful and healthy members of society, regardless of race, gender, sex, or religion.
          I would argue that values are a huge part of that. I can only assume that’s why we had classes on not stealing, on not bullying, on not doing drugs, all of which included information on stealing, bullying and drugs. I don’t see how knowing your body and what’s happening to it can be anything but good for functioning, helpful and healthy people.

          • Mel Middleton says:

            If it were only about “knowing your body and what’s happening to it” there would be no problem. It is precisely because this curriculum is much more than this, and lends itself to the serious undermining of Christian values, as well as obstructing the goal of “creating functioning, helpful. and healthy members of society” that we need to address it.

    • Mel Middleton says:

      Chris, what would you say to the man who wants to join a church and he has 4 wives? Would you welcome him? (I have been in churches where this is a real question).

      • Chris says:

        Kind of a tangent there considering I’m talking about a church/religion that is excluding people who are trying to marry an individual they love (that happens to be the same gender) and not a group of people.
        As for the man with four wives, if everyone is cared for, loved and happy, to me it isn’t an issue. Life is too short to waste time and energy on judging people over trivial issues.

        • Mel Middleton says:

          Its not a tangent, it is all from the same principle of what constitutes the Christian concept of marriage. To define or justify what is legitimate on the basis of: “if everyone is cared for, loved and happy…” falls short or the mark. You do acknowledge that you would accept someone engaged in polygamy. I applaud your honesty. But your definition could also apply to someone wanting to marry his sister….or a grown man marrying a very young prepubescent girl (a common practice within Islam and some other cultures). On this issue Christ was very specific about what His views were. Matthew 19:4 (quoting Jesus) “Haven’t you read, that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh”. This is a sacred union, one so precious that Christ used it as an analogy of His love for His own ‘bride”, the church. Any “marriage” outside of this definition can not be considered “Christian” in any way. This does not mean we can not love people who don’t agree with the Christian definition of marriage. We can and must. But we can not endorse as “Christian” practices (cultural or otherwise) which clearly fall outside of clear Scriptural teachings.

          • Chris says:

            First, I do have my limits on what I find acceptable, but my position is that I do not judge individuals based on who they choose to love. I refuse to treat an individual poorly based on their decision to love someone that isn’t considered the “social norm”. If that makes me a terrible person because I choose not to shun someone who goes against the beliefs of Christianity and choose to treat them like an individual with emotions and feelings, then I will gladly accept that. My parents raised me to treat people with respect and to do otherwise would be disrespectful to them.
            Secondly, I am pretty sure there is nothing in the curriculum about polygamy and incest and the discussion has been based upon the new curriculum, so bringing those into the conversation is a different discussion for another day.
            Lastly, to Mel Middleton, I get that Christian schools are expensive but to complain about the new curriculum is a waste of time and energy. A simple solution to your whole issue is to request that your child not be a part of the lessons. Teachers are expected to send notifications home to let parents know when they will be covering the material and give parents the option to withdraw their children from the classes. Problem easily solved.

          • Chris says:

            My apologies for the error. The last part was for Dee Patterson.

      • Chris says:

        And as for the whole Christian argument, put your child in a separate school board if you don’t like the new curriculum. The separate boards have their own versions of sex ed called “Fully Alive” that is developed and reviewed by members of the church. If you don’t like that, then I guess you are on your own.

  16. Dee Patterson says:

    Rachel, thank you for this article. I do agree with you that this world is a place where children are going to be exposed to the less desirable aspects of sexual relations, in spite of us Christians bubble wrapping our kids. I do think it is a shame that we have to take away a child’s innocence at an early age, just in case they come across it from the internet or television, or worst,(God forbid), etc. I really would desire that my tax money is spent on curriculum that teaches, spelling, math, reading etc. again, I think it is a shame that Christian schools for the most part are private and expensive because I believe there are a lot of people who would rather not have their tax money spent on this type of curriculum. Perhaps it would be best to allow people to put their taxes towards the schools who are instructing our children in the way we would approve of them being taught, rather than the way the government seems to be forcing us to have them taught. I have no issue with people choosing once they are of age what way they want to have in their lives or not. I do think it is the parents obligation to protect their children, as best as they can from over exposure to “adult content” information. I feel that right is being taken away from parents by a school system that continues to make it their job to teach children about sex. I don’t know about you, but I had both good and bad teachers while I was going through school and it makes me cringe to think we are giving the right to teach these things to both types of teachers. I have no doubt that the good teachers will try and stick to the curriculum but I also know there will be those out there that will carry beyond what is appropriate, and there isn’t much a parent can do about that either. When do we say, enough is enough? Christians can teach our children to say no, and about celibacy being the best prevention from sexual disease, but when we say no to our government regarding unwanted sex education in our schools, they don’t seem to be listening to us. As a parent our rights about what is told,or shown to our children seem to be of little concern to our government and school system. If we ask our children not to participate in the classes, then they are the children who are targets for bullying, as being different than the majority of kids who will go along with the “norm”. I would definitely choose to send kids through Christian schools but could never afford the cost of private education. I feel my right as a tax payer is being ignored. We have no say in what our tax money is being spent on I. Our public school system.

    • Jody says:

      Hi Dee, I just wanted to give you some encouraging words. I was bubble-wrapped in the Christian school system. I was also bullied there on occasion. So it happens at all schools. Anyway, I was so immersed in the Christian culture (school, church, Christian friends only) that I completely rebelled when I went off to college and into the real world. Thankfully, as I got to my mid-twenties, I was re-introduced to church and realized what a sacrifice Jesus made for me on the cross. My kids are in the public school system and it has given them opportunities to be a witness and to learn to make the right choices in worldly situations. My son just got an award for courage. His teacher told the school that if someone is making a bad decision (whether they are popular or not), my son is not afraid to guide them in the right direction. Keep good communication with your kids so you can help them make good Biblical choices.
      In terms of the sex education curriculum, keep up the good fight! Write your MPP and your school trustees and let them know how you feel.

  17. Jody says:

    Here are a few of my specific concerns. In Grade 1, I do not have a problem with the words penis or vagina but do they really need to know vulva and testicles at this age. I never use the word vulva as an adult. Also, will they know where these parts are without visuals. I am concerned visuals may be used. In Gr. 3, the term gender identity is used. I think most kids at this age will find this concept confusing. In Gr. 4 they will learn about puberty. Why do the boys need to know about girl`s puberty at this age and vice versa? Why not separate boys and girls and teach them about each other`s puberty at a later age? In Grade 6, the teacher`s prompt encourages them to explore their bodies through masturbation. What if a student asks how to masturbate? Will this be explained in detail? I hope not. In Grade 7, they are told a condom will protect them against STI`s, HIV, and pregnancy. A condom is not 100% effective!! They need to be told to also use additional forms of protection. Also, anal intercourse is mentioned. This should be saved until high school age. In Grade 8, kids are asked to make a personal plan about their future sexual activity. Should they be doing this at the age of 13 when sex under the age of 16 years old is statutory rape? Also, I have no idea what intersex and two-spirited even is. I am not sure how the Catholic Schools will handle the issues of homosexuality in their curriculum.

    • EmmaRN says:

      In terms of the names of their body parts vulva and testicles are parts of there bodies, boys can see and feel their testicles and the vulva is the outer part the vagina you can’t even see. I personally have no problem with diagrams being used because they cn look in their pants and see the same thing and most children with siblings of the opposite sex would have most like seen their siblings genitals at some point.
      I think it’s important for Children to understand the liberty process. I remember being bullied because I started developing very obviously in grade 4. Maybe children will be more understanding if they understand what is happening to ech other.
      In terms of the prompts they are not explicit parts of the curriculum, they are to be used to help answer questions or move the conversation on in a more fluid fashion, but are not required learning.
      The teaching on condoms does include that they aren’t effective, but aside from abstinence they Are the only option in preventing sti’s.
      I also think it is important to broach the subjecta of anal/Oral sex because kids that age are engaging in those activities because they think it’s not “real” sex and they can’t get pregnant. They need to understand that protection is still required for these activities and that you can get STI’s. Also statutory rape only counts if one is below age of consent and one is above it, however there is grey area and close in age exceptions…a 13 year old can coMaemo within 2 years and age 15-16 with 5 years.

  18. verheek says:

    Rachael if you truly are a Christian than you know what the Bible says about same sex relationships.

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