Monday, December 25, 2006

Community taboo

In his blog last week, Yakov Horowitz brought up the important issue of sexual abuse in the community and announced that he was planning on partnering with Prof David Pelcovitz to create a pamphlet on this topic to distribute among parents. Horowitz was responding to a post by Sephardi Lady, who asked, among other things, about the role the school has in dealing with this. I cannot remember sexual abuse being discussed in any of the schools I attended and thinking about it now, I wonder at this. Surely the school has a role here. Perhaps it should be part of a health education curriculum, perhaps there should be informal discussions with a homeroom teacher. But if the school does not take an active role, how will a student know what constitutes abuse? How will a student feel comfortable coming forward if necessary? And as important, what does it say about the stance of the community at large if sexual abuse is taboo to discuss in our schools?

1 comment:

  1. Well.. some could say that this is for parents to talk about with their children. But, I agree with Chan here, the school must participate in educating our children on this topic. Children, particularly teens, are oftentimes reluctant to discuss anything sexual with their parents, but would be willing to talk about them with a more objective individual, eg. a respected teacher. On the otherhand, teachers can not discuss this with their students informally - the subject is too sensitive - but if schools designed frameworks to discuss these issues, it could only lead to positive results.