The Personalist Project

Jules just came home from dropping our son Benedict off at school here in Holland. He told me the teacher had a approached him to say that they would be doing sex education over the next three weeks. She mentioned it because "I know you're religious." (How did she know that?!) She thought we might have concerns. She said he could possibly join the 4th graders, where they cover only the biological aspect of human reproduction. In fifth grade, they get rather heavy. (We're talking about 10, 11 and 12 year olds.)

Jules asked if it's normal for kids to be pulled out. She said, somewhat apologetically, "Really, there aren't so many religious people around here."
There's an information meeting tonight. I'm grateful for that. Also grateful that she approached us about it. But I'm feeling sick to my stomach, and remembering why we moved back to America when our children started getting older.

Where is concern for innocence? Where is concern for moral virtue?

No wonder there are so few religious people left in Holland.

Comments (4)

Matt D

#1, Mar 14, 2014 9:57pm

I'm reminded why the Pilgrims left the Netherlands. They feared extinction because their children were becoming more and more Dutch. Dutch morals were too libertine. That was in 1660ish!  I've never been there but I don't think it is acurate to say there are so few religious people in Holland. You just need to look in the local mosque. Katie, can you be more specific why you are feeling sick to you stomach?  I understand the parental concern. I only ask because I work in a public high school. Are you upset with the school or the subject or the kids growing up too soon? 

Katie van Schaijik

#2, Mar 20, 2014 10:37am

The main cause of my distress is the thought of my sweet, innocent little boy being exposed to very explicit material when he's so young. Why should he have such images put in his head, when his life right now is full of piano and friends and jumping on the trampoline and just generally being a happy-go-lucky kid?

But my distress has moderated in the days since I posted.  For one thing, Jules and I became more aware of the positive dimension of the school's effort. And we're impressed by the sincerity of their intention of meeting our concerns. 

I think Americans are prone to puritanism, and we are far more ideological than the Dutch. 

Matt D

#3, Mar 20, 2014 4:58pm

"So was I  once myself a swinger of birches."-R.Frost

Hope it all works out Katie. It's all a part of the journey. 

Katie van Schaijik

#4, Mar 21, 2014 9:11am

Thanks, Matt!

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