Student activists demand California teach sexual consent to kindergartners
Student activists at California colleges are demanding children as young as kindergarten-age be taught consent education in order to curtail campus sexual assault.
According to a list of three demands from students at University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Santa Barbara; and San Diego State University, the state of California should teach sexual consent to K-12 students.
“We recommend consent education in K12. College is too late for people to learn about bodily autonomy and respect."
“We recommend consent education in K12 [sic]. College is too late for people to learn about bodily autonomy and respect,” the request states.
According to Alejandra Melgoza, Take Back the Night coordinator at UC Santa Barbara, consent education would include teaching students to keep their hands to themselves.
“Concerned parents might think we’re talking about consent in a purely sexual context, when really we’re talking on a day-to-day basis,” Melgoza told The Huffington Post.
“Consent is not just for intercourse,” Meghan Warner, director of Associated Students of the University of California Sexual Assault Commission told HuffPo. “It’s for all aspects of our lives, and people aren’t understanding or being taught that.”
Warner, a UC Berkeley student, explained that the consent education would also cover healthy relationships, verbal harassment, and awareness of others’ space.
"I think kindergarten is too young for that," Aaron Fulcher, a third-year biological science major at UC Santa Barbara told Campus Reform. "Kids that age shouldn't be exposed to material like that."
"A lot of sex ed can be either biased or incorrect, so with that kind of misinformation, it could be pretty damaging to a seven-year-old and their views on sex and relationships later in life," Fulcher said.
The students also demand that all higher education institutions must meet federal and state requirements, including mandatory consent education with colleges placing holds on registration if students do not participate. The students also demand that all higher education institutions publicly release full data on sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking reports as well as data on the schools’ investigations, adjudications, and sanctions.
The state of California is the only state to have officially adopted the controversial “yes means yes” consent law for college students although other states have looked into enacting similar affirmative consent policies.
Earlier this month the Department of Justice released a new report on sexual assault which showed that college students are less likely to become victims of sexual assault than non-students. The Bureau of Justice Statistics report also claimed that 6.1 per 1,000 students are victims of sexual assault, debunking the widely quoted 1-in-5 statistic activists previously referenced.
Redefining education for kindergarteners isn’t something new. Professors at the University of Texas at Austin have proposed using picture books to teach racial tolerance to kindergartners in order to avoid “another Ferguson.”
Neither Warner nor Melgoza responded to requests for comment from Campus Reform.
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