There's has probably never been greater statewide coverage of kids' playground games than this week, when news spread about the games of "rape tag" some kids have been playing at Washington School. The name itself was enough to make a TV news director drool.
The name is also enough to set off parents, and rightly so. Rape is not something parents of fifth and sixth graders want their kids to know anything about. But in today's society, where music and entertainment are more and more sexualized, it is hard for kids not to get some exposure to all kinds of things way too early.
Which makes this a good opportunity for parents to bring up the subject with their kids. We suspect a lot of parents put off having the "big talk" about sex with their kids not because the kids aren't ready, but because the parents aren't ready.
Fifth and sixth graders are certainly old enough to have the talk, to know what sex is, when it is appropriate, and when it is wrong and abusive.
We hope parents will overcome their initial shock and not be angry with the school, which took appropriate action and put an end to this game right away. Most of the anger seems to be that parents should have been notified immediately, instead of the school waiting until rumors on Facebook created more concern than there should have been.
And we hope parents will take this opportunity to create a positive learning experience for their children and give them some clear guidelines about a something they will be dealing with in the not-too-distant future.