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Obama for Sex Ed and Circle Time?

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An ad released by the McCain camp suggests Obama supports sex education for kindergartners--but does he?

Seems what we have here is a failure to communicate. McCain just released a new television ad where he criticizes Obama's reported support of sex education for kindergartners:

"Learning about sex before learning to read?" the ad says. "Barack Obama. Wrong on education. Wrong for your family."

Obama's camp has called the ad "shameful and downright perverse". And it is--if you consider that the "sex ed"  Obama supports for kindergartners is limited to age-appropriate warnings to children about sexual predators. "No one is teaching sex education to children with these programs," says Marilyn Carson, a prevention specialist for the "Good Touch Bad Touch" programs. "We teach the five rules of personal body safety." The rules include:

   1. Hey, It's my body!--I have the right to know ALL the safety rules.
   2. The "Uh-Oh" feeling--If I feel like something's wrong, then I'm right. Sometimes I need to ask questions.
   3. I can say "No!" to sexual abuse or to bad touch.
   4. I will tell someone if I am sexually abused or hurt.
   5. Sexual abuse is not my fault.

The curriculum is a far cry from what we usually consider to be sex ed--lectures about contraception and safe sex. And considering the startling statistic that 1 out of 3 girls and 1 out of 5 boys will be sexually abused before they are 18 years old, shouldn't early education be key in keeping our children safe?

And if you think kindergarten is too young to teach these lessons, Carson disagrees: "Our goal is to get it into every possible preschool." She is currently training the Los Angeles Archdiocese, who uses the program in their K-12 program and plans to expand it to include their 60 preschools.

Do you think Good Touch Bad Touch programs should be taught to kids in preschool?

next: Elizabeth Smart Says 'No' to Therapy
19 comments so far | Post a comment now
politicjock September 11, 2008, 5:16 PM

John McCain is running a campaign almost entirely based on straight-up lies. He is running the sleaziest, most dishonest and race-baiting campaign of our lifetimes. His pick of Sarah Palin is proof that he is no maverick and that in the Republican party greed always trumps values. Picking a woman as the spearhead of the assault on women’s rights is ingeniously depraved. Way to go Carl Rove.

Paula M. Amato September 11, 2008, 6:05 PM

children need to be warned about sexual predators and taught to be aware and what to do the moment they are capable of understanding bad touches and unwanted actions. Way to go Obama!!!!!!!!!!!

Jon September 11, 2008, 6:12 PM

McCain should be running for Liar and Chief!

Shana S Segat September 12, 2008, 6:43 AM

Although I will be teaching my son the same stuff at home, I agree that this is age appropriate and should be taught in school. Some parents may forget to pass on this extremely important information to their children. I am for anything that will protect my son from harm.

Honore September 12, 2008, 8:24 AM

I think it is really important that young children be a part of this program. Many sexual predetors look for children whos parents are not around much and don’t socialy fit it. So I think it is great that this is done in school. Maybe the children will feel like the teachers are sympathetic to their situation and be more likely to report the abuse.

Vicki September 12, 2008, 12:19 PM

Can anyone say ‘Propaganda?’

Jami September 12, 2008, 12:23 PM

NO WAY!!! Really you all think that this is necessary in pre-school and kindergarten. I think that teaching our children to stay away from strangers and if you feel something is wrong go to an adult you know for help is a much better approach.
Do you really think that this will prevent sexual abuse. Most victims fight back and know that it is wrong. How will teaching them that it is wrong help the child that is pinned down by their own step-father and abused in their own bedroom. Or the girl walking to school that is attacked and raped on her way to school. How will education help her. Education will not help them fight off an attacker. Education will not give our children super human strength so they can fight off people that are much larger than they are.
You would better help the victims by training teachers how to recognize the signs of a child that has been sexually abused. Follow up with harsher punishments for the attacker.
I know many women that have been sexually abused. Education in pre-school would not have protected any of them. Ask any sexual abuse victim and they will tell you that education would not have helped them fight off their attacker.
Sexual abuse is a horrible thing, but talking about it with children will not help protect them. It will only take away the carefree child innocence of the children that have not been abused.
If you want to help the victims listen to Gov. Bobby Jindal from Louisiana. Chemical castration for sexual offenders. That would send the right message to the victims. If this sounds extreme to you think about what the victims had to live through. If Obama is serious about protecting the victims. Ask him what kind of punishment he would give to someone if they sexually abused his daughters. I bet he won’t think that chemical castration is to extreme then.

D Upson September 12, 2008, 1:45 PM

I can’t believe how low one would stoop, just to win an election. I’m all for the “Good Touch Bad touch” program. More kids are being sexually abused each day……and it needs to stop.

Jo September 12, 2008, 2:37 PM

MAVERICK: 1867, “calf or yearling found without an owner’s brand,” in allusion to Samuel A. Maverick (1803-70), Texas cattle owner who was negligent in branding his calves. Sense of “individualist, unconventional person” is first recorded 1886, via notion of “masterless.”

Quoted from

The story goes that Samuel Maverick refused to brand his cattle because it was cruel, useless, etc. The problem is that his neighbors claimed that their newborn calves would frequently go missing before they had the opportunity to brand them.

If McCain is truly proclaiming himself to be a masterless thief, do we really want him in the White House?

Cindy September 12, 2008, 2:59 PM

Jami, yes, I do think it is necessary!!! As a woman who was molested by her own father (not STEP-father), and thought it was okay, because he was her daddy and wouldn’t do anything wrong - I think it is IMPERATIVE!!! Had I just told someone, I would not have had to endure as much abuse and humiliation. It wasn’t discovered until my brother walked in on us - and let me tell you, I was so happy that it ended…but, it took me years to heal and get over the pain that I didn’t know it was wrong.

Education will teach them that it is okay and, in fact, important to TELL SOMEONE, so that it doesn’t continue.

Seriously, you need to talk to more sexual abuse victims if you believe what you just wrote.

Jen September 12, 2008, 3:24 PM

There is nothing wrong with age approprate education!! That goes for 9/11 terriorism to private body parts.

When my kids learned the name of body parts at potty training. I made sure to tell them it belonged to them and only them. No one should touch them there or ask to touch them there. If anyone made them uncomfortable to trust that and tell another trustable adult. I also still tell them that they can come to me any time and tell me anything. As my oldest had gotten older we discussed threats. If something does happen to not believe in a threat.

BUT - this is the parents job not the schools. BUT again - what about the abusing parents? Schools do need to vaguely cover the subject.

As a child (middle school age) - A friend was being sexually abused by her police officer dad. My big mouth ended it and she got to go back to her mother. In our 40s now, she is thankful and says her life is better because she could have never stood up to him.

Cindy September 12, 2008, 4:06 PM

Jen, you have made my point.

“As a child (middle school age) - A friend was being sexually abused by her police officer dad. My big mouth ended it and she got to go back to her mother. In our 40s now, she is thankful and says her life is better because she could have never stood up to him.”

Thank you, for your big mouth - from me, and I’ll just bet, many other abused people.

Laura September 12, 2008, 5:22 PM

Children need to be educated (and maybe McCain, as well) on how to react to situations that make them uncomfortable. I was a victim of three adult males relatives who thought they could touch, kiss on the mouth and say sexual things to me. I was 9 years old. I had no idea how to react and hid under a bed. It has affected me for life. No child should have to feel that way. Maybe if Palin’s children had had better education, they would not be so accepting of premarital sex.

Aurora September 12, 2008, 5:44 PM

Obama approved it… not a lie. WHY would you want teachers to teach your children this? Why can’t YOU as parents talk to them about it so YOU can decide how much or how little to discuss? Knowledge is power, but determine how much is appropriate by yourself. Don’t rob your children of their innocence, they have the rest of their lives to deal w/the sickos of this world. Teach them (not the school) then keep your eyes open while your children can still be happy as children.

Laura September 12, 2008, 5:47 PM

I don’t think you understand what it feels like to be a victim. I was in First Grade when a high school senior kissed me on the mouth. I just put up with it through the age of 9 when my other boys and men made sexual advances. No one ever taught me about sex because I was “too young”. If I had known, I could have screamed, run away and told someone, but I thought it was my fault. “Strangers” are not the only ones who can hurt a child. Kindergartnes are the exact age that deviant males go after. The teachers do have training in signs of abuse, but they can’t be there, neither can the parent. They can arm the child with the knowledge that if they are uncomfortable, they don’t have to get into a car or go with a person just because they are an adult. The child could have felt stronger about telling the teacher about the abusive stepfather and it might have been prevented. Parents who turn their face away and say their child is “too young” are giving the power to the predator and ignoring the victim.

agitated buddha September 13, 2008, 11:33 PM

While I see both sides of the fence here, I would be VERY uncomfortable with ANYONE talking about sexual things with my children. Obama said that, of course, all parents could opt their children out of the classes and not be penalized. Wouldn’t that just mean that our children’s friends who did attend the class would impart the “tabu” knowledge to the kids that didn’t attend the class? As told by a child to a child, I can only imagine how that would get garbled up!
And how uncomfortable would it be for the teacher who has to do this, more than likely someone who does not have experience or credientials to address these types of delicate situations. And what about the questions from the kids that follow the teacher’s lecture on this? It could get very uncomfortable very quickly.
A lot of the women on the web site did agree with doing this, even more than women who did not agree with it. To me, isn’t it another excuse not to parent? Pretty soon all we’ll have to do as “lowly parents” is feed them at night and make sure they don’t kill themselves! No conversation at home will be needed, the government will just take care of it for us, I guess.
I don’t agree with it … what do you think?

Paula M. Amato September 14, 2008, 11:45 AM

Please read the header “No one is teaching sex education to children with these programs,” says Marilyn Carson, a prevention specialist for the “Good Touch Bad Touch” programs. “We teach the five rules of personal body safety.”

When a child is taught something by a teacher, visiting police Officer, Fireman, etc. it seems to penetrate and stays with them. When a parent says some things it seems to go in one ear out the other ;-) I think keeping a child safe trumps PC chatter that will keep the child from finding out about the five rules of personal body safety or anything else that will help save a childs life or body.
Those parents that feel they can do a better job, have you taught your child about Code Adam? If not, then shame on you. This is another safety method to protect your child at Malls, shops, office buildings, etc. Betcha they would learn that at school in another program on how to keep safe. please do not take away these programs, the child it can save may be yours!!!!!

Jen September 16, 2008, 2:49 PM

One big thing you great parents are missing here and that there are some bad parents out there too.
Some that are actually doing the abuse and some that shelter to much leaving their child to be abused. It is about protecting the children.
All schools let the parents opt out of any form of sex education.
Both Obama and McCain support the education but Obama’s big flaw is that the teachers get to decide what the child is told; no parental imput.

For anyone at any age - Education is always a good thing. Fully educate yourself and your children.

This site is baised and not a good source of education but great for getting others views.

Sara Evans September 18, 2008, 1:02 AM

Here is the Bill!

Now they can white-wash this Bill all they want, but the bill does exist. As a teacher, I refuse to do it.

In the Illinois State Legislature, Barack Obama voted for legislation to alter Illinois’ Sex Education standards to include instruction in any grade from Kindergarten through 12th grade.The legislation passed Barack Obama’s Illinois Senate Health and Human Services Committee that he chaired. As the Chicago Daily Herald stated, “the legislation included a provision to allow students from kindergarten through fifth grade to be added to the middle and high school students receiving sex education.”
Despite the Obama campaign’s claims, this bill was intended to provide children as young as Kindergarten with sex education. According to the legislation itself, “Each class or course in comprehensive sex education offered in any of grades K through 12 shall include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV.” This legislation stated expressly that children in grade 12 were to be education about sexually transmitted diseases.

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