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Sex Education in Public Schools

Hendry

Written by John Hendry

The debate regarding the teaching of sex education in public schools has once again dominated headlines in various jurisdictions. Some religious groups and parents oppose it for a variety of reasons including, but not restricted to family values, morals, and the belief that teaching youngsters about sex is the parents’ role, not the schools. However, part of the problem is, most families do not, in fact, discuss the sometimes embarrassing issues such as sex, consent, the potential dangers of social media, respecting the intellectual or physical differences of others or homophobia. 
My hope is that when conducting public consultations, the government does not yield to the pressure applied by special interest groups and ignore valuable research and information presented by professionals in social work and education. 

Health and sex education can provide students with valuable life lessons such as tolerance, respecting the uniqueness of everyone, respecting differences whether visible or invisible, religion or culture and gender identity. They would learn how to respond and change assumptions and stereotypes regarding topics such as homophobia and gender roles. Students would learn about the potential dangers associated with social media, the impact of violent behaviour with respect to dating, racially-based violence and the very important topic of the concept of consent. Teachers are on the front line dealing with these issues every day.


Sex education curriculum is usually age appropriate for every age group and would not conflict with family values, religious or cultural beliefs. Parents would always be permitted to withdraw their child if necessary. Teachers express the value of sex education curriculum and the impact it could have on intolerance and bullying, as well as helping students understand their journey to adulthood and the responsibility associated with it.

Valuable life lessons such as tolerance, respecting the uniqueness of everyone, respecting differences whether visible or invisible, religion or culture and gender identity would be learned. Students would learn how to respond and change assumptions and stereotypes regarding topics such as homophobia and gender roles. Students would learn about the potential dangers associated with social media, the impact of violent behaviour with respect to dating, racially-based violence and the very important topic of the concept of consent. There is always a positive advantage for students to learn about these issues in a controlled environment

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