The city recently took heavy criticism from parents, local education council officials and many media outlets, including this newspaper, for coming up with a sex education curriculum we believe is too much too soon for young students.
But lost in all the brouhaha was one key issue we believe should be addressed in one way or another from the earliest ages: how to avoid, and, when necessary, report sexual abuses committed against children by adults.
The issue has dominated much of the media because of the scandals surrounding the athletic programs at Penn State and Syracuse universities. The accused are innocent unless proven guilty, though the evidence appears damning.
The people who in a different sense are no longer innocent, however, are the victims, most of whom reportedly were prepubescent boys at the time they were allegedly molested in places like the locker room shower. It must take a lifetime of strength to overcome the horrors suffered by such young sex abuse victims.
But, much like so many cases involving priests in the Catholic Church, one of the remarkable things about the recent allegations is that the victims were silent for years.
That’s what we hope the city’s new sex ed curriculum will fully address, starting with the most basic concepts, like warning signs of a predator’s intent that children can be taught to recognize, the way a victim should scream bloody murder if an assault begins, how it is never the young victim’s fault when a sex crime does occur, how to overcome the trauma to lead a normal, healthy life if one is victimized.
Less comparison shopping of condoms (an element of the curriculum) and more discussion of how not to be a child rapist’s victim: that would be something for which we could applaud the Education Department.