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Talking About Touching

By Fr. Wilson (articles ) | May 07, 2003

As it happens, the lead article in The Wanderer this week is a report by Paul Likoudis on the stirrings of parental discontent over the imposition of Talking About Touching in Boston archdiocesan schools. An interesting article. The Archdiocese does not want to permit parents to opt their own children out of the program, even when those parents are themselves certified teachers, arguing that this program was selected by the best experts in Massachusetts, many serving on the Cardinal's Commission for the Protection of Children, and the program itself was developed by experts and is based on 20 years of research (to which Likoudis comments, "Archdiocesan officials have learned nothing in the past year about relying on 'research psychologists and other experts,' even after the trusted experts they relied upon for decades have been thoroughly discredited.")

Parents are objecting that the program has no imprimatur, deals with subject matter best discussed at home with parents, will destroy the innocence of children, is held in mixed, boy-girl settings, is fixated on the child's genitals and "there is an overwhelming emphasis on the bad touch without the importance od healthy touch," as two parents wrote to the Archdiocese. "The burden of making sure that children are not touched in a harmful way should rest with the adults, not the children. Pre-pubescent children should not have to worry about protecting themselves in such ways."

Regardless of one's personal position on the merits of the objections, shouldn't it be the case that the wishes of the parents, the primary educators of their children, be respected here?

I expect the Likoudis article will be posted online shortly.

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