I highlighted some of this in my own article about Talking about Touching, but it’s worth revisiting what exactly this program entails. The Primary Educators League has posted some of the sample lessons online which expose the explicitness of the program. If you’re tempted to say, “So what, it’s not any worse than what you see on network TV at night,” keep in mind that this is for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders.
All of these lessons use the explicit names for body parts, no euphemisms. If you ask the Talking about Touching trainer why this must be so, they will reply that it is necessary so that the children will be good witnesses for law enforcement. So much for preventing abuse; instead they’re concentrating on preparing their trial testimony. There’s no sense of safeguarding the innocence of children, but there’s plenty about making children paranoid and distrustful of everyone, including parents, but ironically not teachers and other institutional authorities.
As I’ve said before, it should be up to parents and institutions in loco parentis to be sure that predators, potential and actual, be kept away from children and not make children their own first line of defense.
My pastor and I have refused to implement this in our parish despite a direct order from Cardinal O’Malley. My pastor told the cardinal that he cannot be ordered to do something immoral and in violation of his conscience and if the cardinal wishes he can remove him as pastor. Good for you, Father.