Dr. Anthony Esolen, one of the most eloquent cultural commentators writing today (recent books include Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, Sex and the Unreal City: The Demolition of the Western Mind), has weighed in on the current debate about sex education in public schools on his Facebook page. As usual, he’s bang on:
I’ve said this for a long time. Suppose the guy down the street seems eager to talk to other people’s kids about sex. Suppose he actually does that. You call the police.
Suppose you hire a plumber, and you catch him in the basement at work, but talking at the same time to your kid about sex. You get the kid out of there. Depending upon the details of the conversation, you fire the plumber on the spot, or you wait till he does the job and you never hire him again, or you call the police.
There’s a word to describe people who are eager to talk to other people’s kids about sex. The word is “pervert.”
Does it matter that the person may be doing so in front of BOTH boys and girls, and a lot of them at that? No, it doesn’t. In some ways it makes it worse. More children are the victims of it. Inevitably the kids who are shy about it will be under pressure, and will probably be the objects of some nervous bullying and ridicule. Bad and nervous boys will take it out on girls. Bad and nervous girls will take it out on boys. Some kids may be encouraged to fool around.
So now in Florida, the governor signs a law forbidding teachers to talk about their homosexuality in front of little children. Well, thank God for minuscule favors. Grown men and women should never be talking about their sexual desires or habits in front of children, ever, period, end of sentence. In a public school, once you have separated pubertal boys and girls from each other, for one or two hours of particular physiological instruction regarding sexual intercourse, pregnancy, and venereal diseases, that should be IT — done. Even THAT is a concession, at best a necessary evil.
Teachers — you have no special wisdom regarding the sound and fury of sexual passion, no more than any plumber or banker or construction worker or housewife or anybody. Parents hire you to do a job — it is often a humble job, but necessary. Do your job. You can hardly scan the meter of a poem by Milton, or parse its grammar; learn how, if you have the brains for it. But quit your diddling with children’s sexual feelings. And don’t excuse it by appealing to politics. There is no excuse. Leave the kids the hell alone. Don’t be a bunch of perverts.