Primary Educators League

Assisting parents in the eternal vigil of protecting the freedom and holiness of their families.

Friday, April 07, 2006

"Talking About Touching" Teacher's Guide - Shattering the Innocence of Children?

Teacher’s Guide: “Talking About Touching” Grades 1-3, Third Edition 2001, p. 29

This is the teacher’s guide that comes with the 40 lesson kit for grades 1-3. The comments immediately following are to give guidance to teachers instructing our young Catholic school children ages 6-8 year olds. Remember, those in second grade are preparing for the Sacraments of First Confession and First Communion.

“When one student’s behavior threatens to disrupt a lesson, gently remind him or her of classroom ground rules. Restless fidgeting can sometimes be curbed by letting the child hold a stuffed animal or squeeze a soft ball. An extremely disruptive student can be directed to sit nearby but slightly apart from the group. She or he can still benefit from the lesson but be less of a distraction to the other students. If the disruptive behavior seems to be directly related to the lesson content, this may be an indicator that the child has been abused. Follow up later by talking with that child one-on-one" (emphasis added).

This couldn’t possibly be the way children respond when their innocence is being shattered, could it? It’s interesting to note that they assume that the child may have been abused rather than the possibility that he or she is squirming because he/she can’t mentally process the deviant sexual scenarios being presented by a trusted authority – his/her teacher.

Secondly, is anyone else reminded of the fraud that was perpetrated on the parents involved in day care centers in the 1990’s when the so-called experts questioned small children as to whether or not they had been sexually abused? What are we setting ourselves up for here?

Remember that the VIRTUS Parent’s Guide, which all of you received and read, states that one of the reasons why it’s important for your child to know the proper names of his or her private body parts is so he can “accurately communicate about his or her body to parents, medical personnel, or even to the police if the child is ever harmed.” In other words, the children need to be able to give a good interview to the authorities.

Immediately following the statement above in the “Talking About Touching” Teacher’s Guide, it goes on to say:

“If a child discloses during a lesson, explain that you will talk to him or her privately after the lesson.”

So, not only do we have to be concerned about dealing with such a sensitive topic as child sex abuse in our Catholic elementary classrooms, but we also have to be aware that a child might disclose that they have been sexually abused. The other children will be subjected to this.

Additionally, does anyone else have a problem with a teacher pulling aside your little 2nd or 3rd grader, without your permission or presence, and asking them questions as to whether or not they have been sexually abused?

But remember, the archdiocese continues to say they respect the rightful role and duty of parents to be the primary educators of their children in areas of life and love.


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