Typically most five-year-olds in kindergarten are learning how to spell their names, and count to ten. But this school year, Chicago students will learn a little bit more. Reading, writing, arithmetic, sexual and health education will now become a part of the curriculum for kindergarteners.
Officials with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will insist the curriculum will use language most kids can understand and will focus on topics like bullying, correct names for external body parts and the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching.
“As you identify body parts, you talk about should you be touched here or not.,” said Stephanie Whyte, the CPS Chief Health Officer. “And if someone touches you, and it’s uncomfortable, you should tell a trusted adult.”
But not every parent is happy with the new curriculum.
Like every other kindergartner, Angelina Yang is learning reading, writing, arithmetic–and now sexual health education.
“I want to know what kind of education she is receiving before she gets that education,” said Angelia’s mom, Stella. ‘As a parent, I have a right to know.”
“If he has questions, I’m happy to answer them, but I’m not sure it belongs in a classroom setting,” said parent Brooke Lyon.
On top of sexual topics, students will also learn about different family structures that exist in today’s society. “Whether that means there’s two moms at home, everyone’s home life is different, and we introduce the fact that we all have a diverse background, “ said Whyte.
For 30 minutes a month, five-year-olds in Chicago will get a different lesson in learning. Parents are allowed to view the curriculum and if they’re uncomfortable, their child can opt out of the class.