As a Chicago native and product of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), I was extremely proud to hear that amidst all of the epic fails that is CPS, this fall they are incorporating sex education into their kindergarten curricula! For 30 minutes per month, which is not enough time in my humble opinion, kindergartens will engage in age appropriate learning related to sex and human relationships.
Freaking out? Worried that they’re teaching the babies about condoms, birth control, and ejaculation? Are you concerned with protecting the innocence of Chicago 5 year olds? Worry not! Age appropriate sex ed curriculum is just that, content suitable for the comprehension of said age group.
“Officials with Chicago Public School (CPS) will insist the curriculum will use language most kids can understand and will focus on topics like bullying, correct names for external body parts and the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching.”
And I get it, some folks just really don’t think that young people don’t need comprehensive sex education. But around this time last year, our very own Jos reminded us about why we need comprehensive sex ed (without the shaming pregnant teens). Mainly because, sex is a part of our lives and we should be able to contextualize it holistically. Perhaps most importantly, being able to have and maintain healthy relationships with our bodies and other people is a critical skill that will undoubtedly make this world a better and safer place.
So what does this mean for students who only just beginning to get a grasp on sentence constructions and basic mathematics? For these kids, it mens being able to identify their body parts by name so that they can communicate to safe grown ups when something is wrong or if someone touches them inappropriately. It means defining the basics of healthy relationships; how they should treat others and vice versa. It’s about establishing ownership of their own little bodies so that when the time comes for them to make decisions about sex *gasp* they can do so with a sense of autonomy and personal responsibility.
This is a great first step!