Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Obama "Age Appropriate Sex Education" in Kindergarten

So the new thing is, Obama has some in his family that have been subjected to sexual abuse at an early age. Therefore, he is for teaching age appropriate sex education in kindergarten.
Is there such a thing as age appropriate sex education for a 5 year old?
"Learning about sex before learning to read?" the ad intones. "Barack Obama. Wrong on education. Wrong for your family."
But as the McCain camp's documentation noted, Obama said he backed the legislation as a state senator for "age-appropriate" instruction to teach young children how to protect themselves from pedophiles."

The Obama camp states that it is offensive for McCain to use this legislation against him b/c the legislation is meant to protect children from sex offenders.

Some parents haven't even taught their children the word, penis or vagina. I don't think that it's appropriate for my son's teacher to tell him that it's inappropriate for the gym teacher to touch his penis. Who is to say that the school's interpretation of what is "right", is the way that parents should be teaching it, or should correspond with what the schools are teaching.

As a victim of sexual abuse, I am very cautious of what I tell my child. I don't want my child to be scared of the world, but I teach him to be cautious of the world. The majority of sex offenders aren't strangers, they are family members or friends. What gives schools the right to teach this to my child. This is something personal that should be taught by the parents. The parents have an established trust with their child. In Kindergarten, children are just starting out, and we are asking them to be subjected to this type of teaching?

This trust was established between my mother and I. I so trusted my mother that when it unfortunately happened to me, I was able to say no and to tell that person that my mommy said that is not allowed.

Obama's support of this legislation is wrong on so many levels.


Ben said...

Ellie, you make me insane when you present one side of the issue, or present your understanding of the issue without fully understanding Barack Obama's position. Please read here:

The crime here is how McCain politicized the issue. It's a new low, even for him. And he's sunk plenty in the past few weeks.

If you don't know what "age appropriate" sex education is for a kind, go for the opt-out program (which you forgot to mention).

You hit one thing right on head--it's clearly a sensitive issue. And everyone's standard will be different (although I find it a little weird that you don't want your son's teacher telling him it's not ok for his gym teacher to touch his penis. I wouldn't mind if every person on the planet reminded my son of that, and he is 3).

So here's the problem with your argument. There's a ton of parents out there who are abdicating this responsibility. Either it makes them uncomfortable or their kid isnt "ready" yet, or they think it's a non-issue until high school. IT'S NOT FAIR TO THESE KIDS INPARTICULAR TO BE PUT IN THIS POSITION.

There is no age too early to teach a child about the private areas on their own bodies that shouldn't be touched by anyone other than themselves, the areas they should not touch on other people, and why it's not okay.

Ellie said...

My position is this... some kids don't even know what a penis or vagina is yet and I don't think that a kindergarten teacher should be telling them. Kindergarten is a new enviroment. New to school and the world, this shouldn't be one of the first subjects taught to our children. It is my responsibility to teach my child about this in a enviroment built from "trust".

Not a new teacher in a new school.

Nicole said...

Hey Guys!

Thought I'd drop in with my $.02 as I have strong feelings on this matter.

I feel that by kindergarten that children should DEFINITELY know and be aware of proper terminology for body parts.
Unfortunately there seems to be an ugly stigma attached to the word "VAGINA" and here's hoping that if our generation raising kids doesn't put an end to that, then that my kid's generation will.

I also absolutely agree with you Ben that your kid by age 3 should have enough self awareness to know that NOBODY should be touching their private body parts. Parents can't be with their kids every minute of every day. ( preschools, playdates, etc etc)
By giving children the knowledge of their rights regarding their bodies empowers them and how can parents deny their children that right?

I have teenagers and trust me Ellie...your kid will hear things about sex at a very young age. That and along with the fact that in society women and girls are totally sexualized let's face it, alot of the time a woman's worth is judged by her appearance. You may not believe it but all these issues are tied together and it all starts with being afraid of the big ole vagina word.

Plus..doesn't your last post kind of tie into this theme...the lyrics that are aimed towards young children?????

anyhoo...hope life is good for both of should be your Anniversary soon El...I know cause it was just mine last week! :-)

Leaving the kids for the FIRST time ever...( they are aged 16 and 14 so it is LOOOOONG over due) and going to Vegas for a full week in Oct. from a Friday to a Friday and man, I can't wait!!!

Have a million things going on, but other then that life is pretty good. M started High School and there has been a flock of boys sniffing around...her daddy may not survive her being in H.S. ;-)

what's new with you guys?

Nicole said...

With this proposal do parents also have the option of pulling their child out of the class while that is being taught?

I don't think it is fair to the families\parents who want this taught if only a few families oppose it.

paz y amor said...

NIC!!! What a nice surprise, now if only we could get a new post from you one of these days!

Ellie, as a teacher I have to admit that we are teaching a lot of things parents should have taught their own kids: right from left, tying shoes, single-digit addition (ok, my students can do single digit addition, but I'm just happens). My point is that the things you'd assume parents are teaching their kids (like basic hygiene and RESPECTING ADULTS) doesn't happen and there are a lot of things we teachers end up having to do ourselves, and sometimes that includes sexual subjects too.

Though I agree that you as a parent have the right to teach or not teach your kids what you want them to know, schools would NEVER administer something like that without sending home explicit permission slips to allow you the choice of whether you want your kids to attend the program or not. Personally I think it's important that all kids know what is appropriate vs inappropriate at ALL age levels. Just today at my school, a 5th grade CHILD told another, "When I lay in bed with my girlfriend, we have sex and I pee in her butt." Who says we don't need a little lesson on inappropriate sexual behavior?

Ben said...

Like I said, this is a sensitive issue, and I'm not going to tell anyone how to raise their kid. I WILL, however, present the facts of the measure.

The facts:

1. The bill was not Obama's. The sponsors were Democrats Carol Ronen, M. Maggie Crotty, Susan Garrett , Iris Y. Martinez and Jeffrey M. Schoenberg

2. The measure never passed.

3. The legislation in several places said all sex ed had to be "age and developmentally appropriate." Obama backed teaching youngsters about inappropriate touching by strangers.

4. The bill would let parents opt out of a sex education course.

Ben said...

It makes me want to take out a 30 second spot nationally that shows a picture of McCain making a creepy face while the narrator says "John McCain doesn't think there is anything wrong with a little 'inappropriate touching.'"

I remember when I used to respect this guy.

Ellie said...


to everyone... I am not against sex education.
and yes, my son knows what a penis is, and I will inform my daughter she has a vagina.

My point is...kindergarten is too early.
It is a new enviroment.
Children in a new eviroment, with new teachers, new friends and that young...don't need sex education yet "in school"

Now a suggestion for an alternative. Send home a packet for 'age appropriate' sex education. And at that age, leave it up to the parents to discuss it with their children.

At 5 years old, it's still funny to say the word penis, butt, vagina, pee pee and poo poo. My 4 year old finds it Hilarious.

I would like for my children to be in an enviroment established by trust and understanding when teaching him about such things. I think that it's more effective and at this age, my responsibility as a parent.

Just like it's the parents responsibility to read the cd's they are purchasing for content, like on the Kidzbop cd.

I know that Obama didn't create the legislation, but I know that he was for it. And he bases his feeling off of the fact that members of his family were sexually abused. Well that is where I come from and why I base my preference from a victims point of view.

Ben said...

"I would like for my children to be in an environment established by trust and understanding when teaching him about such things."

And you don't think your child builds trust and understanding with his or her teachers (hint: if you really feel that way, you need to find another school).

I'm about to tell you a story about me that I'm not particularly proud of. In kindegarden, I brought a knife to school. I have no idea why. I was caught, and disciplined. I don't remember what the punishment was, but if it happened today I'd probably be thrown out of school and branded some sort of terrorist.

In the third grade, I wrote every single dirty word I knew when i was daydreaming in class. I was caught with that too, and the teacher was disturbed by the graphic nature. THIRD grade. Twenty years ago or so. And kids these days are way more advanced than I was back then. If you haven't had MOST of the sex conversations with them by the end of kindegarden, you're too late. They've already had the discussion with their friends. It's true. I remember having them.

In hindsight, it sure would have been nice to have a teacher answer our curiosities, explain what is okay, and more importantly, WHEN it is okay, and, perhaps most importantly to so many little girls out there, if our lives are not okay, giving in to boys desires will not, by any stretch of the imagination, make our lives okay.

I want my kids to have the same trust with their teachers that they have with me. Its more people they have to go to with a problem, like if someone at school touches them some place they arent comfortable with.

And finally, what about the kids who are being abused by their parents (may they burn in hell)? How long should they endure the abuse before they can have a sex ed class that tells them their feelings are correct despite what daddy says, and that kind of touching is not okay? I don't know what your situation was, and having never been the victim, I cant imagine what it's like. But I do know this:

1) Extending more lines of information and help cannot be a bad thing.

2) You can educate a child without robbing them of innocence. But that is the challenge that makes this issue delicate.

Ellie said...

I don't think that that trust connection is established their first year of school Ben.
Kindergarten is the first year.

I understand your reference to parents being the molester. And I am confident that teachers have been trained to spot incidents such as those.

I have the experience of teaching and know that as a teacher, you can most times spot what is normal behavior and what is not.
I once had a little girl jump on the table and show the little boys her privicies spewing out some rather explicit remarks. Turned out the parents weren't watching her closely and she was watching porn in the middle of the night on TV. Yes, they were reported.

Some kids withdrawl completely, some shutter at a touch, some exhibit behavior problems...and some unfortunately, you would never know.

I guess it's my preference to teach Tyler at this point. He is 3 years old and knows to scream if someone takes his hand that he doesn't know. He has had 2 surgeries on his privates and mommy and daddy have to check them every so often to make sure his testicle hasn't died, so when we do, we show him how to check and gently remind him that NO ONE is ever to touch him there. We don't assign pet names for penis or vagina. And we don't make jokes with sexual undertones or connotations. He is curious, as are all children and we allow him to explore his curiousity to a point.

If anyone were to ever touch my child, I would know. And trust me when I say I would kill them.

I guess maybe as a responsible parent, and one that was abused by her grandfather, I am very protective over who teaches my child about sex and what they teach.

Everyone can reiterate their points all they want, but this is one thing I guess I just won't change my mind about.


we can agree to disagree sometimes though. I don't think anyone is wrong for their opinions. (except Obama) :)

Ben said...

My last word on the discussion--something i hope you check every day anyway:

I think I was mainly just irked that you linked the absolutely false advertisement for McCain (twice). It's one thing if you don't agree with him. It's another thing entirely to perpetuate lies and half truths. I just wish you'd leave those dregs on your Anti-Obama site and stick to what you do best here (which is NOT trying to discredit a good man who wants what is best for our nation in a dark, dark time).

Ellie said...

I didn't link false advertisement. If you are talking about the picture... I made that. :)

If you are talking about the link to the article... I got it off the drudge report.

I was trying to express my opinion. Not so much the opinion of McCain.

Ben you know me.. there are some things about Obama that inspire me and you know I don't feel that Obama is a bad man. It is the truth that he supported that legislation.

There are things that make the news that aren't nessecarily new news, but b/c both canidates are running for President...old news becomes new news.

And come on Ben... you didn't have an issue with me ripping on Palin!!!

lawdy lawdy lawdy... between you and my aunt in Cali... I can't win...but I have love for you both!

But as I always say, I love discussing politics, how else do ideas spread and views change.

I still don't know who I am pulling the lever for Ben.

Ben said...

LOL, that's because Palin deserves to be ripped on just about every front. She's totally unqualified across the board.

And don't get me wrong, Obama should be called out on PLENTY. I just want to see him ripped for the right reasons. Not this political spin that the McCain campaigned has vomited up.

Just so you know, any time you mention "drudge report," take the story with a grain of salt. Matt Drudge is a right wing neo-con that abuses his platform. I read drudge several times a day, but not for truth. He's sort of the political version of the National Enquirer.

What Obama supported was teaching kindergartners about sexual predators. That is what he defined as age-appropriate. And he included an opt-out, so he wasn't taking anything from you. He was supporting however you choose to educate your child.

Rip Obama for his economic ideas that will increase the deficit. I'm with ya on that one (although McCain's would increase it more--why can't we find anyone committed to LOWERING the deficit over 4 years?!). Rip him for raising taxes on the wealthy. Rip him for socializing health care. But if you want to nit-pick voting for and against bills, McCain's got a big problem. Here's my favorite two examples:

Voted against equal pay for equal work for women.

Voted against the creation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.