This is why our kids are getting stupider and test scores are declining.
BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) – Wisconsin lawmakers want to add sexual abuse prevention to elementary school curriculum. They’re proposing mandatory prevention education in grades K-6.
Becca Wilbershide of Willow Tree Cornerstone Child Advocacy Center spends a lot of time in elementary schools. She uses dolls and posters to connect with the children on this incredibly sensitive topic.
“They remember. They’re actually understanding what I’m talking about and listening, and they remember what I said, not just in one ear and out the other,” says Becca Wilbershide, prevention specialist, Willow Tree Cornerstone Child Advocacy Center.
As a prevention specialist for Brown County, Wilbershide approaches elementary schools prior to the school year. She asks if they would like her to provide students with free abuse prevention education.
“Preschool, kindergarten is pretty much the basics. No one can look or touch any private body part areas. Those private body part areas are covered by swimsuits. You say no and you run and you tell,” says Wilbershide. “Where fifth grade is more sexual harassment, talking more serious topics, explaining sexual abuse in a way that is not just saying: no, run, tell.”
There is absolutely nothing wrong with this kind of instruction/discussion. I hope that every child is being told from a very early age that inappropriate and abusive contact is wrong and that the child should tell a parent/pastor/teacher/police officer if it happens. No child should ever be abused.
But our schools are not the place to correct for every social ill. There is a limited amount of instruction time and every hour we spend on something like this is an hour that we are not spending learning reading, writing, math, colors, problem solving, social studies, history, or any of the other subjects that are part of an education. We can’t expect kids to know this stuff if we fill up all of their instruction time with other things. Kids in grades 1 through 6 are only in school for about 12% of the year – 5% for some kindergarten. Let’s focus on actual education during that narrow window of time and work on our other social goals during the other 88% – 95% of the year.