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Rethinking sex ed.

by Dave Adsett

As the provincial government re-works chapters of the most recent sex-ed curriculum it found distasteful, we hope calmer heads prevail and an agreeable, thorough program emerges. Children deserve it, and now more than ever, they need adequate resources in this rapidly changing world.

We assume to be like most readers on such issues, considering parents and their role in a child’s life as superior to government-sanctioned training. The desire to captain one’s ship is quite understandable albeit a little old-fashioned. Those ideas may well be just a romantic hangover from simpler times that in retrospect weren’t that simple.

A common front is needed today for parents and educators that centres around respect, free will and empathy. The challenge of course is figuring out how to educate at the right time of a child’s upbringing, while honouring religious convictions, familial values and the needs of individuals.

While all of this can be sorted out and we can all hope it happens quickly, what cannot wait a second is ensuring the safety and well-being of the defenceless.

A chance visit from a childhood friend lately left me shaken. As tends to happen when events overwhelm, I immersed myself in some work only to conclude a word or two was needed this week.

May I never hear again a grown man, or grown woman, say, “I was so young I didn’t know” and of course “we didn’t talk about that at home.” It left me weeping.

Every community has its skeletons. Those who would have us believe a place exists where this isn’t so, I’m afraid, live not in this world. Every community has something or someone who has preyed on children in an inappropriate way.

For far too long such things were just swept under the rug, as if that would make it all go away. The victim, unprotected and unaware in the first place, was left to suffer on their own. Sometimes the trauma manifested itself in creating another abuser. Regardless, innocence and joy were stolen, often never to return. It’s anathema that needs to stop and the most effective way to handle that is through education.

Parents today seem to have a deeper understanding of how to protect their children and engage in conversations about what is appropriate and not permissible.

Above all, respecting and having empathy for others is something best taught early. Society can hope to eventually vanquish this self-indulgent behaviour that has hurt so many innocent souls over the years.

Let’s set politics and agendas aside and do the right thing.

 

September 14, 2018

 
 

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