Teaching about sexual abuse in Kindergarten


#1

I got a note today from the school nurse saying that they would be speaking to Kindergartners about health issues like grooming, etc. and sexual abuse and how to handle it.

This is my first time dealing with a public school but I feel like I have a right to know exactly what they are teaching my daughter when it comes to any issues regarding sexuality. I am already kind of annoyed because I got the note today and the note said they are discussing it this week (which they could have done already-I will ask my daughter in the morning).

I would like to call the school nurse in the morning with some questions but would like some ideas of how to handle it.

Your suggestions are appreciated.


#2

Make it clear no one is to talk to your daughter about sexual issues without your prior examination of the materials. Ask to see the curriculum. Also, keep in mind that what is written may not be what is said. The presentor may add to what is in the written guidelines-- so I would exempt her even if you don’t find the curriculum entirely offensive.

Tell the principal you want to exempt your daughter from these “talks” and you will come get her if necessary.

Any program in public school is likely to be graphic and inappropriate for her age.

Be ready to tell them you will secure a lawyer (I doubt you’d need to, but other parents have had to do so to keep their kids away from offensive curriculum) to defend your parental rights regarding sexual education.


#3

I have three children in public school and my advise to you is to calmly call the principal and ask to review the curriculum and discuss your concerns with him/her. It may be nothing more than “nobody is allowed to touch your private parts other than your mother, father or pediatrician”. That in and of itself is not bad.

I’ve had a very good relationship with my children’s public school and I’ve found them very helpful and respectful of our faith and values. Sometimes your fears are not warranted, and it is sometimes very easy to imagine something to be far worse than it really is. That being said, it can’t hurt to inquire about this, and also to inquire about ongoing sexual education in the elementary school. In my school system we don’t have any sexual ed (basically personal hygiene) until the 5th grade.

Good luck!


#4

The problem with this is we want our children to be safe and as adults we have found that sometimes we can not stop some of the abuse no matter what we have done to protect our children! So, in order to make our children even “safer” we give them sometimes inappropriate information. This really can be done without all the graphic stuff that comes with school based programs!

I teach the 15 min. lesson to our CCD students about self safety. I really talk about how you must tell as many adults as you need to until something is done. I tell them that it is okay to “tattle” about a bully on the playground, about someone who shouldn’t touching them on any of their private parts (those covered by their bathing suits). This is for First Grade, the lesson is similar for Kindergarden so I know it can be done in a good way.

As far as what is happening in a public school, definitely call the Nurse and tell her you want to see the materials she (he?) will be using. Also tell her you want to be present at the talk. If you are not allowed to sit in on the talk then you really need to pull your daughter from this session.

It really bothers me when a school does this kind of thing too. There are a couple of problems with this - most settings are you have to opt out, if your child comes to school without the “opt out” paper then they get to do the lesson. So, if you have an older child who has figured this out and has managed to “forget” (either intentionally or unintentionally) to give the teacher the paper he gets to do the lesson!

Brenda V.


#5

When I was in Kindergarten (yes, I remember) they told us about good touch and bad touch. And you should tell someone if a person touches you in a bad way. No one could touch your private parts unless it was a doctor or mommy and daddy. My mom had already taught me that as soon as I could understand English, though. But some parents don’t address that very critical issue. I can’t imagine what else they would say…??


#6

If it were me, I would immediately contact the school and find out exactly what they will be telling the children. Then I would opt out/ keep my child home / take him/her out to lunch or something - whatever is required to keep the child from this class. If the school cares, you can tell them: Thank you for sharing this information. I will be sure to instruct my child on it. And then in your own conversations with your child, tell them whatever you think they need to be told. As long as you are willing to address these issues with your child (in the way YOU know your child needs it), the conversation (with your child present at least) does NOT belong in school.


#7

What’s the point of contacting the school if you are going to opt out anyway? What if it is an appropriate approach to the subject?

Peace

Tim


#8

Well, I’d get info from the school for 2 reasons: First, I want to know what’s being taught - if it’s REALLY bad, I’d do more than opt out, I’d try to change it altogether. Second, I appreciate that I am not the sole source of wisdom for my children, and I would be curious to see what the message is and how they get their point across. Who knows, they might have some good ideas that I can use in my discussions.

As you can see, I leave room for the possibility that at least part of their approach could be appropriate. HOWEVER, I believe that a school is not an appropriate place for such discussions. When an adult other than your parent to discuss matters like this with you, you are already blurring the boundaries of the child. How is it that my teacher can talk about my private parts to me, but she is telling me not to let anyone touch them. While not necessarily outwardly confusing, it is desensitizing young children to having their privates not be so private. That’s why I believe that no matter how appropriate the words may be, they are NOT appropriate if they are coming from the wrong adult or if they are done in a group situation.

I do recognize that many parents shirk their responsibilites to protect their kids in this way, so I can appreciate that the school may feel like they NEED to fill that gap. But I think MOST parents are fully able (some with the help and suggestions of experts or other experienced people) to teach their children to protect themselves in a private, individually appropriate manner.


#9

I called the school nurse this morning and politely asked for more information about the “health topics” to be disucssed in my daughter’s class.

She said that they do not used any techincal terms and there is a movie with puppets who discuss good/bad touch. And this can include a friend who is squeezing your hand too hard, etc. They then discuss “private zones”. And tell the children that only a doctor of parent may help with the zones during an examination or if they need help after the potty or bath.

They also discuss “trusted” adults and what to do if the child feels “funny” about someones actions.

It sounds okay to me. The school nurse goes to the classroom personally and discusses this with the children so I have first hand what she will be saying.

In todays health class they discussed germs.

I think it sounds on the up and up.

She also told me to contact her if I have any questions about the health instruction.

What do you think?


#10

Can you attend the class? I think that would be a good way to handle it. If you’re there, you’ll know exactly what your child heard and can answer any questions that come up later.

Even in high school, when we had “sex talks” they encourage our parents to come. Mine did…too bad she was the only one. This was Catholic high school, but they still wanted our parents to be involved.

Ideally, parents should be the ones to teach their children about this kind of thing, but many parents don’t know where to start. Sometimes the parents don’t want the kids to hear this, because of their own behavior.

My kids and I saw shows on PBS and the Discovery Channel, got books at the library. Let me tell you, as the single mother of two boys, this wasn’t easy. One about died of embarassment and the other giggled his way through it all.


#11

I think that sounds fine. You did the right thing by checking it out!


#12

I think you should do the research on the “good touch/bad touch” method. There are many groups who oppose this approach.

washtimes.com/national/20040113-113140-7406r.htm

familyrightsassociation.com/info/school_health/index.html

renewamerica.us/columns/abbott/050821

catholicherald.com/loverde/2004homilies/loverde-safe.htm

catholic.net/us_catholic_news/template_article.phtml?channel_id=1&article_id=3491

kettleriverusa.com/concerned_catholics/concerned_catholic_families_home.htm


#13

So your telling me telling my kids that a bad touch (strange man touching your penis ) and good touch (doctor touching your penis durign a checkup) is a bad thing:confused:


#14

Do not put words in my mouth.

I told the OP is that she should research the program thoroughly as there are many parent groups who find objectionable content within the program .

While the concept sounds good, it is often executed in a way that is not good. It also puts the burden of protecting children on the child themselves, instead of on adults where it belongs

And this program has been abused on a number of occasions to make children paranoid and exposed to sexual ideas at an age when they should not be exposed to such ideas. There hvae been cases of 4 and 5 year olds on the playground who hug another child or a teacher who are then accused of sexual abuse.

There was a 5 y.o. recently who was expelled from school for hugging his teacher because of “inappropriate touch”. It is not compatible with Catholic teaching to sexualize children and expose them to sexual ideas at a young age.

And, therefore, the OP should research what is being taught to her child.


#15

And in our school- admittedly a Catholic one- the only thing beyond this in the Kindergarten “talk” is to color in a picture of kids in swimsuits to get across the idea where the private parts are without saying private parts (inside the swimsuits, of course).


closed #16

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