Schools Now Required to Teach Sex-Ed to Kindergartners

Say What!? 39

classroomUm, have you heard about the new school policy the city of Chicago just approved? If you aren't sure what I'm talking about -- you might want to sit down.

Within the next two years, sexual education will be part of the kindergarten curriculum in public elementary schools. (Yes, I'm totally serious. Sex-ed. In kindergarten.)

And kindergarten is only the beginning, because the new policy states that there must be a set amount of time spent on sexual education for all elementary school grades.

The CEO of the Chicago School System, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, says:

It is important that we provide students of all ages with accurate and appropriate information so they can make healthy choices in regards to their social interactions, behaviors, and relationships. By implementing a new sexual health education policy, we will be helping them to build a foundation of knowledge that can guide them not just in the preadolescent and adolescent years, but throughout their lives.

Ok, that's all well and good and I sort of get what she's saying -- but teaching sex-ed to children as young as 5 years old? Really?

Sooooo, what exactly will Chicago kindergartners be learning? For starters, "anatomy, reproduction, healthy relationships, and personal safety."

And then it progresses from there as the kids move on through each grade.

Before I go any further, it's important to note that parents will be able to opt out of the sexual education program if they choose -- so it's not like it's going to be forced on their kids against their will or anything.

But still, in general, teaching sex-ed to kids that young just seems so unnecessary -- and actually makes me kind of sad.

As the mom of a first grader, every day I see his youthfulness slipping away from me before my eyes. He's already growing up too fast as it is, so the last thing I want is his innocence being taken away from him way too soon.

We are fortunate to live in a small town where he attends a very small elementary school, and luckily, it's a place where the teachers still allow the kids to be kids. (Imagine that.) They don't have a ton of homework. They play in the snow at recess. And (gasp!) -- they stick to the basics like reading, writing, and math when it comes to their curriculum.

Sure, they also have music, art, gym, and computer lab classes -- but I'm honestly not sure what I'd do if sexual education were thrown into the mix of their daily activities. I guess I'd be ok with the personal safety and healthy relationship stuff, but anatomy and reproduction? Not so much. There's plenty of time to learn those things down the road -- when children are older and can digest and understand the topics better.

Five- and six-year-olds should be playing, laughing, and learning basic social and academic concepts -- not hearing about the birds and the bees.

(Man. I'm sure glad we don't live in Chicago.)

Be honest, would you want your kindergartner learning about sex in school?


Image via Navy Hale Keiki School/Flickr

education, elementary school


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nonmember avatar Ashley

Did you even read the article? K-3 will learn about family, feelings, and good-touch, bad-touch. Concepts that should be taught at that age. 4th graders learn about puberty, and 5th graders learn sex ed. Seriously... Learn how to read before you write such lies.

Ally Swarrow

Yea, because kindergartners are really gonna sit still and listen to lectures on sex.

kjbug... kjbugsmom1517

Sex no way. But safe relationships and good touch bad touch stuff is not bad at any age and should be reinforced regularly. Parents need to be made aware of it and have the option to opt out as well.

LoriA... LoriAnn87

Me and my husband will be the ones explaining to our son about sex not there school.

mande... manderspanders

I knew about basic anatomy - the difference between boys and girls by kindergarten... it was because I was constantly hounding my mom about where babies came from and why boys were different, so she bought me age appropriate books, and it settled the issue.  (I knew about the "sperm meets the egg" and that boys have sperm, girls have eggs... but not the actual act of intercourse).

I don't think it's inherently wrong to teach at an age appropriate level the differences in their bodies... But I don't think that it is appropriate to teach about sex at that age.

Of course, it is obvious the many parents avoid the issue altogether and kids grow up not really understanding their bodies, let alone understanding sex... and that isn't right either.

I'd say there has to be a happy medium.  I wouldn't want my child taught about SEX or even about relationships at kindergarten, but if they had questions, I want to be able to give them the answers and the resources at that time too.

miche... micheledo

Nope. Wouldn't be happy about that at all. We talk to our children as they have questions and are honest with them. Whenever I am pregnant we tend to have more conversations. But I think it should be addressed as the child has questions. It isn't a one size fits all. On the other hand, if one of our children doesn't become curious and ask ,we will have a discussio nabout it before puberty hits.

Jespren Jespren

I think it's less that kindergarteners aren't of an age to learn that kind of information. In ages past when people grew up around more animals (and more sibblings) 'reproduction' wasn't a question. We had rabbits, chickens, cats and dogs. I knew male/sperm, female/egg (and how the two came to be together) and mom/baby from a very young age. BUT this is something PARENTS need to be in charge of, it is completely inappropriate for teachers in a group setting to teach some governmental agreed upon version of reproduction, healthy relationships, etc.

BlueJane BlueJane

Age appropriate education is a good idea. Teach them anatomy and the proper names. Then teach them about bad touches. Then when they're old enough, they have that foundation to teach them about sex and protection and all the stuff that goes with it. Otherwise you have a bunch if ignorant, misinformed horny teenagers running around.

nonmember avatar Cynthia

It's sexual education, not how to have sexual relationships! It's best to start teaching them from a very young age what's normal with their bodies and how to treat their bodies and that it's THEIR body and not for anyone else, and I feel this should start from the time of diapers really! Yes, PARENTS SHOULD be teaching this stuff, but unfortunately many do not, and for those of us who do, having positive reinforcement through the schools is a good thing. Knowing that this is not a 'taboo' subject but something to be discussed helps with understanding and acceptance and I honestly feel will help prevent many people being the victims of sexual crimes and teen pregnancies.

Zenia6 Zenia6

Since the parents have the option to opt out, I don't see a problem with sex education. As a parent I would want to see the curriculum before I allowed it for my child, but as long as it was age appropriate I would be fine. Its important to maintain an open line of communication with our kids and this could help facilitate that.

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