Thursday, January 29, 2009
Come spring the boys and girls of Brier Elementary are excited. They have heard about it from their older brothers and sisters, that time of year when the girls would go to the gym and the boys to the library—that time when the secretive adult world was revealed. For many it is a right of passage. A stamp of approval that reads, “You are now validated as an adult. Welcome to sexuality.” Not quite. At least that is the argument surrounding current sexual education programs in our schools. In a changing and seemingly more progressive society, there has arisen the desire by many to address alternative lifestyles in sexual education programs. That is, heterosexuality not as the only option. There sits two sides to the debate—each represented in those bright-eyed elementary students. Billy has found that he sometimes likes to be around other boys, and he thinks about them a lot. He doesn’t know what this means. Julie, sitting in the gymnasium with her fellow female students, knows that she likes boys. Her parents agree. They tell Julie that a relationship is between a boy and a girl—she knows no different. The issue then arises with dealing how to reconcile these two different ways of looking at sexual life. To what extent does an elementary school sexual education program present moral and value issues to students? Many would argue it is not the place of the school to do a parents job. Others believe it should be presented and naturalized as much as possible.