Thursday, December 19, 2013

Six-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment…GASP!

Colorado was recently in the news for a case in which a six year old boy was suspended from school for kissing a girl in his class. The school called this sexual harassment and the public mocked this classification and the ability of a six-year-old to understand sex. In her recent article, “No, It’s Not OK to ‘Steal Kisses’ – Here’s Why”, Soraya Chemaly aptly identifies why labeling this “boys being boys” minimizes how we view girls and detracts from the need to speak with our children about SEX.

Soraya summarizes the problem by saying, “By NOT talking to children about their bodies, their boundaries, their rights and the entitlements others might feel about them, we ARE talking to them. That’s the problem schools are having.”

The Sexual Violence Prevention (SVP) Program is talking to our children through the nine funded agencies that are using a comprehensive approach, focused on engaging students, parents, and teachers and changing systems, policies, and norms to cultivate an environment where “boys being boys” means respect. The role playing our children practice today impacts the adult they become in the future.