Whither sex education in time to come?
In a wide-ranging address –– from school matters to the media to the Government –– in his very first speech day as principal of Parkinson Memorial Secondary, Mr Jeff Broomes alludes to regular sexual conduct among students with such dismissal, and to sex education in the classroom in so out-of-the-box a fashion as to warrant closer examination of his uncharacteristic pronouncements.
“Let’s not bury our heads,” he says, “it [the sexual act in school] is there, and has been there even before I was a boy –– and I respect any newspaper’s right to bring to the attention of the populace these particular acts . . . .
Pursuing the point that the public at large had every right to be so informed by the media, he stops short of having the pictures of copulating pupils plastered in the Press. But he would have you send such evidence to the Ministry of Education, as if by doing so it would exempt the damning illustration from being labelled pornographic material of a minor, distributed by an adult.
Actually, Mr Broomes is right-on when he observes that there can be no good in the publication or distribution of such pictures that could only further sully the already questionable character of the illicit classroom sex players. Story or report, yes; photographs, certainly not!
The principal told his audience on speech day that the focus “should be on helping the problem” –– student sex in school. Well, with or without heads being buried in the sand, and in spite of being privy to the knowledge of school sex being practised even before he was a boy, Mr Broomes does us proud in publicly accepting that there is a “problem” to be resolved. His method of fixing, however, stupefies us.
There must be a “fresh” way of teaching sexual education in schools, he proffers –– to the point where we “abandon the religious approach”.
“We have the traditional, ideological, religious perspective,” Mr Broomes argues, “which has little impact on today’s students.”
We don’t have to wonder why.
Our good principal would rather have “the more pragmatic, social, physical and health angle[d]” style of teaching our impressionable students presumably to be sexually responsible, after tutorials on body function, emotional response, contraceptive options, Plan B abortions, optional pregnancies, labour and birth, without an iota or semblance of moral and ethical mooring. We find it difficult to accept that Mr Broomes can be so patently serious about emptying what little morality and conscionable reflex we have left among us and our seed for a fill of the clinical, dubiously analytic and questionably antiseptic.
The Parkinson Memorial principal might be put off by the shouting, ranting and raving church minister pushing virginity until marriage, or a dose of hellfire for you if you fail. But that is no excuse for taking God out of our young people’s lives, making them immune to gratitude for one of the best gifts from the Almighty –– sexual bliss and the reproduction of self.
When there is a grasp of the design of God’s human creation, and an understanding of the miracle of life that will come of sex, along with the purpose for being, and with goals and dreams for the future, a more holistic approach to one’s sexuality is pursued. Clearly, a bright future will depend to a great deal on a healthy present –– in mind and body.
The teaching of sexual education in a vacuum, bereft of gentle moral and ethical blending, will do little or nothing to enhance self-esteem, self-respect among our very young. And it cannot be without civic consideration: how sexual involvement at a particular time might be a detraction, or an irritant agent that makes it difficult or impossible to achieve set goals.
The Almighty must not be so positioned in the minds of our young people as to be seen to be the One to be terrified of offending by them, lest they be made to reside in hell for having sex; but rather that they might quietly draw strength and guidance from Him in selecting the right partner, under the right circumstances, at the right age, at the right time.
Already, we have begun to see children without God’s cover or guiding hand –– because their parents, teachers and guardians don’t think it necessary –– rollicking towards the precipice of disorder, mayhem and sorrow. Some educators have even publicly stated they see no point in school morning worship. So what else should we expect really?
This is the tawdry point to which we have come.
To be honest, we do not see Mr Broomes in this marsh –– this wetland of contradictions, paradoxes, and the misspoken. Still, the good principal proposes that “the time . . . is now for this discussion to begin” ––– which debate, we are sure, he looks forward to winning.
We ask though, Mr Broomes, what can it be which you will forego in time to come for this present moment of pleasure?