Children’s innocence in sexual matters is precious

To the editor:

I would like to share with the Journal’s readers the text of my comments regarding the petition that was delivered at the April 28 ISD 88 School Board meeting. My comments were as follows:

The question that this petition lays before the board has to do with the innocence of young children in sexual matters. There are two points of view on this question.

The first viewpoint is one that has been held in our society for centuries. It says that childhood innocence in sexual things is a precious thing, something to be protected and preserved, something that is an important ingredient in the psychological well-being and growth of a child. This view of childhood innocence has been supported by laws that protect our children from sexual abusers and predators. This view of childhood innocence is also supported by well-documented findings of developmental psychologists.

The opposing point of view that some would like to introduce into our educational system is that the concept of childhood innocence is nothing but a narrative — a story, a myth — that the majority of people have made up and imposed on our society for the purpose of keeping our children trapped in the idea that there are only two genders, boys and girls, and that it is good and normal for boys and girls to become men and women, to marry, and to have children.

Those who believe the idea of childhood innocence is a made-up concept believe that this concept should be discarded. They believe it prevents children from exploring the possibility that they may be transsexuals, homosexuals or lesbians. They believe the concept of childhood innocence leads to homosexuals, lesbians and others being marginalized and oppressed. This is the reason why they are so determined to introduce into our schools elements of instruction that will destroy childhood innocence — that will sexualize our children by making sexual orientation and gender identity topics of discussion for even the youngest children.

You as a board have a choice to make. You will either act to protect and preserve childhood innocence in sexual matters, or you will allow it to be destroyed. There is no in-between ground. Childhood innocence is a delicate flower that cannot survive if exposed to the kind of instruction we are talking about. This petition asks you to be open and honest with the public about your choice, so that the public may express their will at the voting booth this fall and so that they can make informed decisions about which school their children will attend.

Michael Thom

New Ulm


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