Monday, March 31, 2014

Dear School Board

Dear School Board,
    Last week I attended your board-approved Sex-Ed video you deemed appropriate for 4th graders.  I was prepared for a video that taught our children about their growing bodies, I was not prepared for a video that would rob my child of the last of the innocence he still maintains and pollute his mind with images and words he does not yet comprehend and leave him full of questions and confusion.  You tried to sell the movie to us (the parents) with cartoon penises and the "made by Disney" name but all 7 (yes, only 7 parents from the ENTIRE 4th grade showed up to watch this video, 4 boys Moms and 3 girls Moms) were left with bigger questions than even our children would be-do we or do we not allow our children-CHILDREN-to leap into this next phase of their life?  Once we do there's no erasing it and there's no going back.  I assume so few parents showed up only because they trust the school board will do what is best for their child but what these parents failed to witness was (cover your eyes kids) an entire video of naked cartoon boys and the throwing around of words such as sexual arousal, erection (complete with picture of an erection under bed covers), ejaculation, sperm and baby-making and ended with a scantily-clad woman seductively dancing-this is the point one of the moms shouted out, "Well that's completely inappropriate!" and I would have said the same if my mouth wasn't hanging open in shock.  These are our 10 year olds, half of them still believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy (including mine) and we're introducing them to sex?  Sadly, I understand this topic needs to be addressed much sooner than it did when I was younger but when my child found out he would be watching a video on his growing body he told me he knew the time would come when he would have to learn about hair growing on his chest.  That is what he assumed the video would be about, that's, foolishly,  somewhat what I assumed as well.  I took a picture of the video showing a naked cartoon boy that said the words "broad shoulders" above his head.  I showed my little boy this example of the video he would be watching, he turned 5 shades of red and declared he would not be watching this video.  He spent days panicking about the thought of having to sit there and endure the awkwardness of those 20 minutes that would change his life and he had no idea that it was so, SO much worse than he even anticipated.  I must admit that I only attended the viewing of the boys movie so my opinion of the girls movie (which occurred today) can only be shared by what my son and his friends witnessed following the showing of that video.  The girls were described as returning to class as ghostly white, refusing to speak, one girl told the boys they would never want to see what she just saw, 4 girls in my son's class went to the nurse and another girl in another 4th grade class vomited.  By these descriptions I'm assuming the girls movie fared equally inappropriate to what the boys will soon witness.  While I agree that some kids may be ready for this next step in their lives and some kids may already know everything about this quickly approaching new phase of their lives, some kids aren't ready.  That's where you've failed to do your job, you lumped all kids into one gigantic category of sexually-ready and went with it.  While I do appreciate the brief warning, I don't appreciate your poor judgment.  Our kids are young once, only once, and mine is not ready!  You may have taken it upon yourself to deem him ready but I've decided to do this on my terms, my way and by my standards.  While the other children sit in class on Wednesday watching a video they may or may not be ready for my little boy will be hanging out with his Dad, having fun, bonding and talking about his growing and changing body!  After informing the teacher and the school principal of my intentions I was relieved to receive an email back from my 10 year olds teacher informing me her Mom did the same thing for her when she was in the 4th grade.  When I feel my child is ready to venture into this new phase of his life I will deal with it, I will answer his questions and I will teach him what he needs to know.  It is not your job to decide when the magic of Christmas comes to an end for him, it's not your job to educate him on your religious beliefs (or lack thereof), it's not your job to enforce rules based on what he eats, wears, how he plays and the way I parent and it's certainly not your job to decide when my child is ready to become an adult.  Thanks for wanting to help but I've got this one!


Kristen Barnowski said...

Perfectly stated!!!! On behalf of so many parents... I thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

We've been conditioned to believe that "experts" are the only qualified people to educate our children. WE are their ultimate educators and their biggest champions. Thanks for posting this. I'm going to repost it on my page. Parents, where are you?! Stand up! -Jes Rigel