New sex ed curriculum nothing to worry about

Julianne Fox

A&E Editor

Awareness of the change brought by puberty seems to be hitting children at younger and younger ages as years pass and no one can do anything about it other than keep up with generations as they progress.

The Liberals are receiving backlash from parents since introducing an updated health education curriculum to the province earlier this week. This has been the first update of this kind since 1998.

A few topics children from Grades 1 to 7 will start learning in September include physiological change at puberty, masturbation, healthy relationships, consent, sexually transmitted diseases and oral and anal sex.

Many parents are opposed to the curriculum because they believe certain sexual education topics will be taught to their children at too young an age.

Some of the other important topics included in the updates are cyber safety and same-sex marriage. Those who are advocates for the updates are modern thinkers, which is perhaps why they believe the new course material should be taught early on. I could not agree more.

It is best for schools to teach and inform children about subjects, such as sexting, early on, before problems relating to these practices escalate.

When I was taught sexual education in elementary school, I was not aware of sexting, but I do understand that it is a lot more prominent in our society today. I believe it is crucial for children to be informed so they will know how to handle such a situation if it ever comes about.

An example of when sexting can become an extreme situation is if a minor were to send a provocative picture to someone of age. The person receiving the image could be caught somewhere down the line for child pornography.

According to CP24, experts say proper sex education is important in the digital age. There are a lot of racy pictures accessible to everyone online, compared to years ago when such images were harder to come by.

Some parents also believe that health and sex education should mainly be left to them to teach their children.  Values do come from family, and it’s certainly a valid argument that their roles are more important than that of the schools – but the problem is, a lot of them are not doing their job.

In his interview with CP24, Johnson says there are going to be things children do not want to ask their parents or teachers, so it is important for them to be able to access information online and recognize which information is credible.

In some cases, children can stir up ideas based on what they see on TV or what they play in video games. It seems strange that many parents allow their children to play violent, gory video games and watch violent films but shy away from allowing their children to be exposed to the subject of human intimacy and sexuality, especially since, in this case, it’s in an educational institution.

In addition, to raise so much concern over an updated sex education curriculum seems out of place when there are so many growing concerns about child development in our society today, one example being child obesity.

As these children grow up, the new curriculum should help them make smarter choices and be better prepared for when they are ready, whenever that is, to embrace their sexuality in an informed manner.

The new curriculum also aims to educate children about abuse so they can identify it and deal with it properly and safely.Parents, and anyone else who protests the updated curriculum, need to consider the things they knew at their childrens’ age and what could have helped them be better prepared.

Considering Canada was the third country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage in 2005, adding same-sex marriage to the sexual education curriculum 10 years later seems almost negligently tardy.

Since children have access to handheld devices and information at their fingertips, the curriculum aims to control, to the best of its ability, how they take in and assess information regarding sex.

Parents who continue to oppose the updates still have the Education Act, allowing them to withdraw their child from a specific lesson. I understand that some parents want to preserve certain values, but their children are going to interact with others whoWW are “different” and have other values at some point in their lives.

Parents need to know and remember their children’s peers also play a major role in shaping them.

What do you think about the new curriculum?

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