Redbricks School In Ashoknagar finds itself in the centre of controversy after primary section kids were heard openly discussing body parts on the school bus following a “sexuality education” lesson in school.
However, principal Sutapa Mishra has stuck to her guns, stating that prudery needs to make way for a scientific familiarisation with sexuality and physicality.
On the other hand, parents of six-year-olds are still left shocked after their wards have brought in words such as “vagina,” “penis,” “vulua,” “anus,” and “nipples,” into drawing room conversation.
“Comprehensive Sexuality Education” at Redbricks (Ashoknagar) saw class 1-2 students attend a session on “Understand My Body” sometime in December.
“Under the Comprehensive Sexuality Education program, students of classes 1 and 2 have explored topics of friendships and gender roles under the module ‘My Safety.’ It is important for them to be aware of the terminology and have a factual understanding, for example, establishing an understanding that babies come from the uterus instead of using the word ‘tummy.’ We would like to share a list of terms which the students are being introduced to like: Genitals, Anus, Breasts, Vagina, Vulva, Penis,” read the circular, post the programme in December 2022.
Recently, when the school organised a seminar for parents on “How To Be Safer Parents,” many of them raised concerns over exposing tender minds to human anatomy. Parents alleged that the school did not seek their consent before starting the sessions last year. However, the principal defended the same stating: “The objective of the program is to ensure children’s safety and well-being by helping them cope with the evolving needs of today’s world. This program enables children to become aware about safe and unsafe situations and learn to effectively communicate about their body safety and experiences with trusted adults. The curriculum of this program is based on proven research and aligned with international guidelines as framed by UNESCO, World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations (UN) as well as the Indian guidelines of the National Curriculum Framework and National Commission for Protection of Children’s Rights (NCPCR).”
She said the school considers parents as partners and they had informed them about the sessions. When asked about the school bus incident, she said: “Young children are inherently curious and subject to multiple influences in their daily life. Any such incident cannot be directly connected to these sessions. We have two full-time trained psychologists who work with children to address their socio-emotional concerns on a regular basis.”