“How do we best implement needed but controversial programs in our schools?”
Any time you mix content, students, administration, teachers, and parents, there is bound to be controversy; especially when attempting to implement sensitive material into the curriculum. However, being proactive, transparent, and explicit about the reasons for implementing controversial content or programs can help keep the issues to a minimum.
As a pe/health educator, the Rob Newberry interview dealing with the impact of pornography on students hit very close to home. We deal with this issue in our sex ed. portion of the health curriculum. We deal with the difficulties by obtaining permission from parents early, sharing information on request, and letting the administration and parents know what topics we will cover. Any topic that is controversial will cause some discomfort for some people. It is impossible to please everyone. But, by being honest, and forthright about why the program is being implemented and how it will benefit students can help justify why the implementation is occurring. It is hard to argue with any program that puts students’ needs and concerns first.
Every generation has dealt with controversial programs or topics. The difference now is that students have unlimited access to many things that can cause them emotional, intellectual, and even physical problems. Establishing decision making skills, making students aware of the dangers or risks associated with the controversial topics, and making sure they understand how to do what is best for their health is crucial. One thing that we can do better at SAS is making controversial programs multi disciplinary in nature. The more people on board when implementing controversial programs for schools the better.
21CL Radio. (2017). Rob Newberry Discusses The Impact of Pornography On Our Students. [online] Available at: http://21clradio.com/rob-newberry-discusses-impact-pornography-students-education-vanguard-28/ [Accessed 3 Jul. 2017].