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'Sex box' to get new name as parents revolt

Published: 15 Aug 2011 15:42 GMT+02:00

Officials in Basel have agreed to rename the "sex box" after receiving some 3,000 letters of protest from parents angered by the controversial trove of wooden penises and fabric vaginas set to be used in a new sex education programme for playschool and primary school kids.

Christoph Eymann, Basel education minister and member of the liberal democrat party (LDP),  responded to parent's protests in an interview with SonntagsBlick.    

“It was no doubt stupid to call it a ’sex box’ – we will change that. But we will stick to our goal: to get across to children that sexuality is something natural. Without forcing anything upon them or taking anything away from their parents,“ he said.

Many parents say they do not understand why sex education needs to be taught to children as young as four.

There are usually two reasons why sexuality becomes a topic in kindergarten: either the teacher is pregnant or one of the children will soon get a new sister or brother. In such cases, it is correct that the teacher can respond“, Eymann told SonntagsBlick.

Eymann said he understood that one line in the programme, “touching can be enjoyed heartily“, could be misconstrued, but insisted: “It is not about 'touch me, feel me'. We want to tell the children that there is contact that they may find pleasurable, but some that they should say ’no’ to. Kids can unfortunately can become victims of sexual violence already at playschool age.“

Eymann said he would prefer if sex education was taught to children at home but argued that education officials needed to respond to the realities of today.

"We currently live in an oversexualised society. There is uncontrolled distribution of pornographic material that can reach young children. Some primary school children know the TV schedule until 2am. We would like to offer these children firm support, which is often not available in the family. The box is only an aid. I trust the teachers to approach the material with care."

Despite this, Eymann said he takes critics' arguments seriously, and has ordered the contents of the box to be examined after finding the cover of previous teaching material tasteless.

Some parents have called for their children to be exempted from sex education. Eymann says he is strictly against exemptions, although he is aware this will not make him many friends:

"Primary school may be the only big audience that our society has. The shared values that it teaches are very important. I would definitely like to keep this. The explanatory lesson can be portrayed in a way that doesn’t offend“, he said.

Your comments about this article

2011-08-30 12:16:23 by quesadilla
While I agree that this is repulsive and perverted, there is something to be said for toddlers having sex ed in school. I have come to this conclusion because I was in kindergarten the first time I was propositioned by an older boy on my way to school. He said, "Can I screw you?" Having had older brothers, and seen boys naked by accident for a few varying reasons, I, of course, declined his "offer" (once one has seen the male equipment, as well as having seen manual and electric screw drivers in use over the years, it wasn't such a leap to realize his meaning. He said, "Do you know what that means?" I said, "Yah!" as he was asking a really dumb question. I deviated from my path so as to avoid going anywhere within three feet of him on my continuation to the school. I had already known the boy's first name, because I knew his younger sister, who was two or three grades ahead of me, had told me. Our school didn't introduce the kids to sex ed until the third grade, by which time, kids can already have developed a warped attitude about sexuality, and many of the kids in my school already had. But teaching kindergarteners that what is often referred to them as "bad touch" can be enjoyable will only serve to sexualize their play, and sexualize their tantrums and fights (yes, kids fight with each other, all over the world). We don't let our kids watch The Jerry Springer Show, or encourage in them the viewing of other forms of pornography...Why would you encourage them to masturbate in the classroom?
2011-08-26 18:39:50 by Ron
uco07421: You are absolutely right! Sem duvida é uma agenda satanico! Elle quer destruir nossas crianças antes que creseram! This is what happens when man rejects God and his moral standards for humanity! Let us pray for these poor deluded educators, the corrupters of our society.
2011-08-26 14:12:03 by uc07421
Totalmente inadecuado. Dejemos que nuestros niños vivan su etapa de inocencia. No hay que exponerlos desde tan temprano. Ademas, son los padres los llamados antes que nadie, a inculcarles los valores morales y los codigos de conductas. El estado no tiene porque decirme lo que le voy a enseñar a mis hijos. Soy yo como madre la que sé cuándo es que mi hijo esta listo para contestarle las preguntas que tengas relacionadas al sexo. ¿ES ESTO PARTE DE UNA AGENDA OCULTA?
2011-08-26 06:46:21 by Ron
totally disgusting! What a government of perverts! Our society is reeling and wreaking from sexually transmitted diseases; AIDS is making havoc among our men, women and children, yet these sick officials deem it good to indoctrinate, to instill into the fresh young minds of our toddlers the pleasures of sex! It is unconscionable! These people should be fired and sent to a mental hospital to put their minds in order. This is a good example of what happens when mankind removes the moral barriers that God has given him; he, humanity, sinks lower than the level of animals! Did not Christ tell us that just before he returns the world will revert to the evil and perversion of the times just before the Flood. Can't we learn from history? The grip of sin is so strong on mankind that only Christ can liberate us from its grip. It is my hope that these poor educators would give their lives to Jesus so they can be converted and saved.
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