I’m sure there is going to be a public outcry against McGuinty’s new sex education curriculum, but I would like to present another perspective.
After my last letter, “Confronting Homophobia in our Schools, I can just imagine the feedback on this one!
According tocbc.ca, grade 6 students will learn about masturbation, and 12 year-olds will learn about anal and oral sex, among other topics, in the classroom. This may seem shocking to some parents out there, but many children already know about this stuff! They are learning about it on television and the Internet, or from children in their classroom who already know about it.
You may not believe me because you have never heard your child talk about sex. But they know. Of course they are not talking about it at home! They would get in trouble! But it doesn’t mean they are not talking about it with their friends at school. Under McGuinty’s new legislation, teachers will now talk about it in a responsible, educational, mature manner.
This way, students will not be misinformed, uninformed, or confused about sex and sexual orientation. Incorrect information or lack of sex education could lead to bad decisions, or incorrect beliefs, such as homophobia being wrong. Parents, you can still talk to your kids at home and educate them about what is right and wrong. The Ministry of Education is attempting to address an existing problem: kids already know about sex at that age. Didn’t you?
However, my guess is that the real problem is that a lot of people think their kids are too young to be learning about sexual orientation. Let me ask you this: Are they too young to be learning about heterosexuality? Kids already know they have a mom and a dad who made them, love them, and love each other. How is it any different to mention that it is possible for two men or two women to love each other as well?
We have no problem reinforcing heterosexuality because that is what we know and what we are comfortable with. But it is not the only way of being! What about the kid who is young and confused because he feels different? Isn’t he going to be afraid and think something is wrong with him because he doesn’t seem to fit in? What if he thinks he likes boys or just isn’t sure yet, but he doesn’t want to upset his parents by telling them? What if it was your kid? Wouldn’t you want to tell him it was okay?
Our view of society is much like our dreams: they are all about us. We see ourselves, and everyone that is just like us. We assume that this is the only way and don’t really consider other ways of being. So we go through life taking for granted that every element in society is designed for us. Well this is not the only way of being and society is not inclusive to all people.
Our reality is interpreted and created and we need to stop taking it for granted. We need what Maxine Greene, the moral philosopher, calls a “wide-awakeness;” An awakeness and awareness of issues of social justice, equity and diversity; of other ways of being. And it needs to start in schools. We need to wake up from this reverie where we are the main characters and everyone is just like us. Because that’s all it is; a dream.
(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of the Cornwall Free News, their staff, or sponsors.)
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