Most public schools start teaching sex-ed in fifth grade, but sexual education will be coming to Chicago Public Schools starting in kindergarten as part of an overhaul of Chicago’s health program.
A new policy in Chicago will make it a requirement that a certain amount of time be sent on sex education in every grade, starting in kindergarten.
“I can see how some of the cities might be a concern that they might want to have that conversation and start having that with their kids, for this area, for my kids, that’s not something I want to see,” stated mother Kim Fino, who has a daughter in kindergarten.
In a statement from the school system, they say, “It is important that we provide students of all ages with accurate and appropriate information so they can make healthy choices in regards to their social interactions, behaviors and relationships.”
But is sex-ed appropriate for kindergarteners?
“I think Kindergarten is a little too young, I mean absolutely too young,” Melissa Melhorn told us, who has a daughter in third grade.
“My daughter is in Kindergarten right now and the stuff they’re expecting out of them is already too much and that would just put me over the edge,” Fino continued.
Many people we talked to think kindergarten is too early.
“I would say it is way too inappropriate to talk about that, because that’s just going to make their mind open, make them start thinking about things they don’t need to know,” believes Stephen Gracy.
Under the new policy, kindergarteners through third graders will learn the basics about anatomy, reproduction, healthy relationships and personal safety, such as what inappropriate touching is.
“I don’t think that’s something they need to be working on in the schools,” Josh Korb said. “I think that’s more the parents role, when they’re ready to talk about that.”
So we asked, when do you think is the right time to begin sex-ed?
“I would probably say fourth or fifth grade, that’s when they showed me,” Gracey added.
“Second and third grade might be a good time to start having that conversation with the kids,” believes Fino.
“In middle school, I mean, 6th grade, 7th grade. I mean I could see a case for 5th grade maybe, but kindergarten?” questioned Gracey. “I know kids who are ready for kindergarten down and they’re not ready for Sex-Ed.”
Chicago schools say that parents of students can opt out of the sex-ed program if they choose.