Seven and eight-year-old children are being shown a controversial Channel 4 sex education DVD, Living and Growing, at their primary school.
This one minute clip from the 15 minute cartoon-styled film shows a couple chasing each other round a bed and having sex. A voice-over on the DVD describes the sex as 'exciting'. (Youtube required me to register as over 18 before I could access it for the embed code).
A mother, who withdrew her 7 year-old from a school where her daughter was shown this video, said the school sent parents a letter saying they could view the film before it was shown to pupils, but the mother was unable to attend.
What is happening in our schools when parents have to thoroughly vet the material their children are taught? Have teachers lost all common sense? The excuse that thousands of these 'information' packs have been sent out in the past ten years angers me.
Showing infants this explicit material is way beyond the pale. I remember how I behaved at that age. Behaviour read in comics was re-enacted with pals. Children who attended the Saturday morning pictures would come home and if the 'big' picture had been a cowboy, the boys would play cowboys and indians all weekend. We copied without understanding. That's all part of childhood and parents have a responsibility to ensure that children know reality from fantasy.
According to statistics recently 30-40% of children don't reach a reasonable level of reading and writing by secondary school, yet they are taught about sex. For all the sex education provided in this country teenage pregnancies have not dropped by more than a few per cent.
You can call me old-fashioned, behind the times or say children today are far more 'grown up' than they were in the 50s. Whose fault is that? Why are so many children losing out on a carefree childhood? Because our schools are filling their heads with information far too detailed for their years when they should be teaching them what is important to their survival in this competitive, world such as reading, writing, the sciences, geography and history. I'm certainly not against young children being told where babies come from but it could be done much more simply and even more effectively.
Some of you will ask why I object to such detailed sex lessons in infant/junior schools when it's common knowledge many parents don't/won't discuss it with their children. Wouldn't the answer be for schools to provide parents with the DVD and ask them to watch it with their child/children when they reach the age the parents feel it would be appropriate? Give the power to the parents. Leave the graphic detail until children are in first year.
I'm weary of hearing parents being blamed for not taking responsibility for their children's social and well-being education. Most parents do although they have had their rights gradually stripped away over the years. Stand up to Ed Balls and his Department for Children Schools and Families and tell him 'no more' for children in their first two or three years of formal education. They have at least 11 years of schooling in this country and therefore plenty time to gain knowledge of sex. I didn't have sex education at school and it didn't do me any harm. I didn't have parents who felt they could explain it either.
Time to get formal education back to basics and stop filling up the curriculum with subjects like climate change and sex - to name just two.