Reading, writing, arithmetic and sexual education. That’s the curriculum kindergarteners attending Chicago Public Schools will be following as the school year gears up — and President Barack Obama is on board.
Administrators with the Chicago Public School system decided to pass mandatory sexual and health education for kindergarten classes, CBS Chicago reported. Representatives with the education system said the curriculum would be designed with a focus on bullying, using the correct names for external body parts, the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching, and the different structures existing within the family.
“As you identify body parts, you talk about should you be touched here or not,” Stephanie Whyte, CPS’ Chief Health Officer. “And if someone touches you, and it’s uncomfortable, you should tell a trusted adult.
“…Whether that means there’s two moms at home, everyone’s home life is different, and we introduce the fact that we all have a diverse background, “ Whyte said, referencing the differing ‘familial structures’ included in the curriculum.
While conservatives argue teaching such young students sexual education gives into a liberal agenda, it’s a curriculum President Barack Obama promoted while speaking at a Planned Parenthood convention in 2007.
“I remember Alan Keyes — I ran against Alan Keyes — but I remember him using this in his campaign against me, saying, ‘Barack Obama supports teaching sex education to kindergartners,'” Obama said.“And you know, I didn’t know what to tell him. But it is the right thing to do, to provide age-appropriate sex education, science-based sex education in the schools.”
The president’s election campaign, though, sought to further explain then-Sen. Obama’s position on sexual education, directing ABC News to a story in the Chicago Daily Herald years earlier.
“Nobody’s suggesting that kindergartners are going to be getting information about sex in the way that we think about it,” Obama said in 2004, according to CNS News. “If they ask a teacher ‘where do babies come from,’ that providing information that the fact is that it’s not a stork is probably not an unhealthy thing. Although again, that’s going to be determined on a case by case basis by local communities and local school boards.”
But while serving as a state senator in Illinois, the President supported a proposal — SB99 — mandating schools include sexual education for kindergarteners. It previously was only required for students in grades six through 12.
The bill, ultimately, did not pass. But that won’t stop school administrators in Chicago.
According to CBS Chicago, instructors will be required to teach sexual education for 300 minutes, or roughly 30 minutes a month.
And though parents are encouraged to review the curriculum — if they’re against it, their child can opt out of the class — some are voicing concerns for such subject matter to be discussed in the classroom at such a young age.
“It he has questions, I’m happy to answer them, but I’m not sure it belongs in a classroom setting,” parent Brooke Lyon told CBS Chicago.