Perspectives: The job of parenting has been filled; tell schools we’re ‘not hiring’

OPINION – I am a pretty decent parent. I have open communication with my kids and parenting to me involves talking about all of the sensitive issues peppered with my notion of values, ethics and morals. The schools help teach my children about things like spelling, writing, math and history, and I cover the rest. Right? Wrong.

A school district in Chicago is grappling with the idea of teaching sex education as early as kindergarten. What?! As these darling little 5-year-olds are busy learning how to tie their shoes correctly, share their toys and write the ABCs, I had no idea they were clamoring to learn all about sex.

I also find it intriguing that included in every single proposal for this notion of teaching these little tykes about sex is that the education must include same-sex attraction and “different family types.” They just sort of slide it in there. I guess this is the new “evolved,” “politically correct” version of sex education.  And, why is that?  Is it for validation and acceptance? Do we need to familiarize kids with what same-sex attraction is before they can even spell it? Sex ed isn’t just body parts anymore.

I have been very happy with the public school system in Washington County; it has excellent teachers for the most part and fantastic administrators. “The talk” about maturation comes along in the fifth grade. I realize that some parents may not teach sex ed or feel comfortable with the subject, so a little assistance from films and teachers may be in order. The fifth grade seems to be an appropriate time to discuss the matter as they are about to enter into puberty.

But how young is too young?

My rule of thumb is this: When they start asking, you start teaching. Having raised five children, not one of my kids asked about same-sex attraction or sex at the age of 5. Not one. But the public school system wants to teach our children about anatomy, healthy relationships and personal safety. What’s left for me to teach my child? It seems as though the public school system wants to make sure I am doing an adequate job and will decide what my child learns and how he or she learns it.

Chicago school districts are concerned that, with their very high statistics of venereal disease, teaching the kids about sex alongside finger-painting would help solve the problem. It’s not the answer. Better parenting is the answer. Teaching stronger values is the answer.  Learning about sex in kindergarten will not thwart the rise of STDs, but good parenting can.

Children need to be children. Innocence is a precious and short time. Let them make forts and color in coloring books.  If the school districts want to decide what is best for my child and parent my child, then  maybe I should show up at the school all day and interfere with the teacher’s job to educate my child. If they want to “assist” me, I can certainly “assist” them.  I know what my child needs.

The public school system is vying for my job as a parent, but I am not hiring.

Kate Dalley is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are hers and not representative of St. George News.

Email: kated@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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9 Comments

  • Ron February 28, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Okay, kindergarten seems a bit early for all this to me, too. But the larger issue here is whether or not sex education ought to fall within the purview of the public school system at all. Kids fortunate enough to have intelligent, concerned parents like you (and me, I hope) will get proper instruction in these matters at home. But what about the many, many k,ids who aren’t so fortunate? These are the ones who wind up having babies and abortions or welfare payments. If they don’t get reliable information about sex (including birth control) from the school system, where are they to get it? From their peers? On the street? By experimenting? Sadly, these days, more children lack responsible parents than have them. Ask any teacher.

  • Karen February 28, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    I would hope that Kate Dalley would at least make an attempt to get correct information about this story and not rely on FoxNew.com but, alas, that does not seen to be the case. From what I have read, kindergartners through third graders will learn about their anatomy, all living things that reproduce, and appropriate and inappropriate touching. That’s it. And parents can always opt out.

    The sky is not falling, dear Fox listeners.

  • Kate Dalley February 28, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Karen,

    You need to check your facts. They are teaching more than that but regardless of that fact, you have missed the entire point of my article. Parents are the ones who should be teaching all of the things you stated. NOT the school district or the teacher. If the school district wanted to come tuck your child in at night and make sure that they brushed their teeth, would you agree to that too? Or turn a blind eye because they are giving you a choice to opt out? How nice of them to give you an option, right? The sky has been falling for quite some time, Karen. The same school district tried to pass ruling on banning home lunches because they were healthier than school lunch and they didn’t want the kids to observe healthier foods being eaten by a select group of kids. I’m guessing you would think this was ok too?

    • Karen March 1, 2013 at 6:55 am

      Kate, my response about what will be taught in kindergarten through 3rd grade is correct. If you reread your article, you imply in almost every paragraph that kindergarteners will receive the same instruction as older children. This is incorrect. I was just trying to clarify the facts.

      Also, in clarification, I’m sure you didn’t mean that a ban on school lunches was proposed simply because the school district “didn’t want the kids to observe healthier foods being eaten”. Actually, it was the opposite based on the unhealthy foods that were observed being brought from home. And, in that same school district, only one school bans home lunches, at the discretion of the principal. Even in Chicago, there is local control over individual schools, just like here in Washington County.

      As for having the “nanny state” take over my parental duties, I’m sure you were not being serious about that notion. Actually, as a grandmother and former Republican, I have observed that the the rhetoric about “the sky is falling” to be just that, rhetoric. Not you, specifically, but others throughout talk radio and the tv media seem to be pushing that idea more and more. We need more voices like No Labels, for example, that seek to unite not divide. I really think that there is more that unites us as Americans, than divides us.

  • philiplo March 1, 2013 at 8:56 am

    From the article:
    “I also find it intriguing that included in every single proposal for this notion of teaching these little tykes about sex is that the education must include same-sex attraction and “different family types … And, why is that? Is it for validation and acceptance?”
    .
    .
    Yes, that’s exactly what it’s for. You appear to be intimating that knowledge of people who are “different” from ones self, and that acknowledging them as human beings in their own right, is somehow evil. Prejudice and hate are learned behaviors, and smug, dismissive attitudes like yours are great teachers.

  • sweet jude March 1, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Karen,

    Wow, how convincing you are because of your intellect. Not! Your “wisdom ” is actually foolishness because you have no regard for common sense morality, understanding children, how they learn, how they are taught, the whole nine yards. If you actually read Kate’s article, she was speaking of how one school district implements outrageous policies that can have the worst possible effect on parents. Do you have any kids? If so, what happened? And do not try to sway others to agree with you on your “issues ” just because you may have done some research, yet without a moral conscience. *eyes rolling *

    • Karen March 1, 2013 at 12:03 pm

      It doesn’t take intellect to do some basic research to clarify the assertions made in the article. Kate Dalley repeatedly implied that all aspects of the sex education courses were being taught to kindergarteners which isn’t true at all. They are age-appropriate and parents can opt out. Besides, I think we in Utah should all look to our local schools where we have a voice and can influence what is taught to our children instead of spreading misinformation about “Chicago-style” (a favorite Fox buzzword) classrooms. I am not trying to “sway others” just making clarifications.

      And yes, if you had read my earlier reply to Kate Dalley, you would have seen that I am a grandmother who has always been involved in my children’s education, like most parents that I know. That you would assert that I don’t have a moral conscience is quite amazing. I am a rather conservative person but I strongly disagree with rhetoric that inflames and divides. There is too much of it now. We need to see what unites us as Americans.

  • sweet jude March 3, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    What if america decided to jump off a cliff, then would you do it? So much about preaching unity. You and others like you who don’t care for morality, right vs wrong, seem to be accepting of the wrong as long as we don’t offend anyone. That will not assure you safety since right and wrong have never changed. It is man’s perceptions that has changed over time and become corrupted. We need more people like kate who do have a conscience and stand by their convictions, unlike those who are tossed about likely the waves of the sea.

  • Quagmire March 3, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    If educators were only required to teach “spelling, writing, math and history” they might actually earn a fair paycheck. Can you imagine if parents in the U.S. were given the full responsibility for teaching their children morals, manners, hygiene, communication skills, tolerance, sex-education, how to drive, eat healthy, stay active, and how to tie their shoes?

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