Parents as primary educators and the dangers of sexuality education

Matthew 18:6Right now my husband and I are engaged in discussions with not one, but two of my children’s schools regarding their so-called sexuality programmes.

This isn’t anything new.  I have been working for Family Life International since its inception when I was just a teen.  Over the years there have been many stories from concerned parents.  Our team have viewed and reviewed various programmes and assisted parents in their battles.  The agenda of sexuality educators, often trained up by Family Planning (or their cohorts), which spread a distorted view of human sexuality and ignore the primary rights of parents to educate their children in these matters is not new and neither is the resistance to it.

You too, will have your stories to tell.

Contraception, masturbation, fornication, abortion, consent (which is really just a sad guise of saying if we all agree to use each other, then anything goes), are all discussed within sexuality classes.  Gender identity has become the catch phrase of the time, influencing schools who are making all sorts of accommodations for students who self-identify as being something “other” than the God-given genders of male and female, or who wish to engage in same-sex liaisons.

Sadly, this so-called education in sexuality, with a secular view of the human person and an emphasis on a selfish giving in to the passions, is not just confined to our public schools.

Masquerading as science, health and puberty education is training that desensitizes our children to a world-view that contradicts the Church’s beautiful teaching about the human person, love, chastity, self-giving and sacrifice.  This kind of education threatens the good of our children leading them only down a path of destruction.  We need not think that the discussion of these topics is only restricted to these classes either.  Any teacher, of any subject, with an agenda to push, will find a way to do it.

Many sexuality educators, in an attempt to be engaging, will employ crass and immature methods to get their point across.  In one recent example, students walked into their classroom only to be met with the music video of Salt N Pepa’s song “Let’s talk about sex” playing loudly.

Lumped in together, children’s individual development is dismissed and the natural modesty about their bodies is forgotten.  Oftentimes, parents have little, to no say, in the development of any sexuality programmes, and they and their children can be ridiculed for removing their children from the classes.

In 1996, the Pontifical Council for the Family issued a document entitled The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality.  It is critical that parents, grandparents and educators are familiar with its contents.  The following is an excerpt this very important document which provides practical guidelines for both parents and educators who have an opportunity to work together, as needed, for the good of all children.

Recommendations for Parents and Educators:

It is recommended that parents be aware of their own educational role and defend and carry out this primary right and duty.  It follows that any educative activity, related to education for love and carried out by persons outside the family, must be subject tot the parents’ acceptance of it and must be seen not as a substitute but as a support for their work.  In fact, “sex education, which is a basic right and duty of parents, must always be carried out under their attentive guidance whether at home or in educational centers chosen and controlled by them.”  Frequently, parents are not lacking in awareness and effort, but they are quite alone, defenseless, and often made to feel they are wrong.  They need understanding, but also support and help by groups, associations, and institutions. (113)

1. Recommendations for parents

It is recommended that parents associate with other parents, not only in order to protect, maintain, or fill out their own role as the primary educators of their children, especially in the area of education for love, but also to fight against damaging forms of sex education and to ensure that their children will be educated according to Christian principles and in a way that is consonant with their personal development. (114)

In the case where parents are helped by others in educating their own children for love, it is recommended that they keep themselves precisely informed on the content and methodology with which such supplementary education is imparted.  No one can bind children or young people to secrecy about the content and method of instruction provided outside the family.  (115)

We are aware of the difficulty and often the impossibility for parents to participate fully in all supplementary instruction provided outside the home.  Nevertheless, they have the right to be informed about the structure and content of the program.  In all cases, their right to be present during classes cannot be denied. (116)

It is recommended that parents attentively follow every form of sex education that is given to their children outside the home, removing their children whenever this education does not correspond to their own principles.  However, such a decision of the parents must not become grounds for discrimination against their children.  On the other hand, parents who remove their children from such instruction have the duty to give them an adequate formation, appropriate to each child’s or young person’s stage of development.  (117)

2.  Recommendations for all educators

Since each child or young person must be able to live his or her own sexuality in conformity with Christian principles, and hence be able to exercise the virtue of chastity, no educator – not even parents – can interfere with this right to chastity (cf. Matthew 18:4-7). (118)

It is recommended that respect be given to the right of the child and the young person to be adequately informed by their own parents on moral and sexual questions in a way that complies with his or her desire to be chaste and to be formed in chastity.  This right is further qualified by a child’s stage of development, his or her capacity to integrate moral truth with sexual information, and by respect for his or her innocence and tranquility.  (119)

It is recommended that respect be given to the right of the child or young person to withdraw from any form of sexual instruction imparted outside the home.  Neither the children nor other members of their family should ever be penalized or discriminated against for this decision.  (120)

The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality also gives four working principles which are also worthwhile mentioning here:

1.  Human sexuality is a sacred mystery and must be presented according to the doctrinal and moral teaching of the Church, always bearing in mind the effects of original sin.

2.  Only information proportionate to each phase of their individual development should be presented to children and young people.

3.  No material of an erotic nature should be presented to children or young people of any age, individually or in a group.

4.  No one should ever be invited, let alone obliged, to act in any way that could objectively offend against modesty or which could subjectively offend against his or her own delicacy or sense of privacy.

It must be said that there are good teachers and counsellors in our schools who wish to lead students to true freedom and a right-ordered understanding of themselves and others.  They must be commended for all they do to protect the children in their care and to uphold the rights of parents as first educators.

Unfortunately, there are also many educators and parents, who have brought the lie that children and young people must have free access to sexual information, contraception and abortion.  More and more people cannot see the great deception in gender ideology and the absurdity of the consequences of denying maleness or femaleness.

Family Planning and their cohorts know the importance of getting parents onside and they are doing this well.  It is easy to hook a generation of parents who have already been indoctrinated as youth.   Now living the consequences of so-called “sexual freedom” which was dangled in front of them, many cannot see that the same fate will befall their children.

No parent should ever feel like they have to fight their child’s school on these matters, least of all Catholic schools.

We need to teach parents the beauty of human sexuality so that they can live in true freedom and be great, even heroic, examples to their children.  As primary educators they are then have the power to impart their knowledge, gained through education and experience, to their own children, providing them with a balanced understanding that readily acknowledges the need for chastity, self-control, and a true love of self and neighbour.

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