By Tonia Leacock
With The Roe vs Wade overturn, there is a ripple effect worldwide. Different elements of society are responding based upon their value systems and what they hold near and dear to their hearts. We, in Trinidad and Tobago need to pause and reflect on what matters most to us at the end of the day.
We have just come out of a serious pandemic that has rocked our country in many aspects, but parents have clearly seen the effects on our children who have suffered in silence over 24 months and now must deal with the fallout.
The narrative of changing our education system is paramount, so we, as parents, must join in the conversation to ensure that our voices and presence are part of the education of our children.
We have always been the first educators of our children. Planned Parenthood has its arms in many areas including Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE), and if T&T is looking at changing our education system, wouldn’t now be the best time to be present and get involved?
Many families look all over the world and wonder how did change take place so quickly. Is it because we purposefully chose the wrong path, or were we guided there inadvertently?
All parents and families want what is best for our children, so when proposals and policies are put forward that seem to be in sync with our value systems, we do not oppose them, because the intended outcome seems to be in our favour. What if the words used in these documents have more than one meaning? What if there are different interpretations to the phrases used, and countries all over the world have bought into these policies only to discover the interpretation “after the fact”?
Could that account for the overnight changes that occur in some countries in terms of decriminalising certain laws and legalising others? Did we listen carefully to the words from the launch of Planned Parenthood – after the initial few comments – they also plan to promote the sexuality agenda and transform the gender norms. What does that really mean?
Abortion provider, contraception provider, provider of ‘gender transition’ services to minors – All without parental knowledge and consent.
There are many avenues to speak to our children without our knowledge. There is the internet and social media, but the one right below our noses is our education system.
There is a programme called Health and Family Life Education – ask your children about it, ask to see the books. This programme is one of the four components being used to introduce Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE).
All the ideas to promote the sexuality agenda and transform gender norms are included from as early as first year infants.
As the secondary level is reached, the ideas of looking for and speaking to alternative support for accessing contraception, abortion, and gender ideology confusion instead of parents is clearly advised. This is not what we, as parents of our families want for our children, we need to stand.
I am not sure many parents realise our power. I will state two instances in Trinidad that we parents have effected change by standing.
Many years ago, the HPV vaccine came into Trinidad. It did not take the usual path of going through our healthcare system, rather, the healthcare body approached our schools directly.
Simply indicating their presence and purpose and informing the students and staff that the vaccine would be provided by the end of the week, primarily for Standard 5 girls and consent forms were sent home.
Some parents simply signed the form upon their daughters’ request, or insistence. Many others, however, demanded further information, and to be included in the decision-making process.
This feedback was channelled back and education bodies met with the healthcare representatives and the initiative was moved to our community health centres, where they rightfully belonged, where parents can now use their freedom to choose and not be coerced into making uninformed decisions on what is best for their children.
Another, more controversial stance would be the Covid vaccine that many parents had, as their unvaccinated children were not allowed to enter schools for three weeks, but eventually all were allowed back at school, claiming their freedom to make decisions that they believe is in the best interest of their children.
Our education system is not up for grabs to the highest bidder. We, as parents, need to educate ourselves to ensure our children receive the education we want them to have that relates to our wholesome value systems, and is in their best interest in forming all aspects of the human person.
That means optimal health development, where there is the focus on development of the human person from all aspects, physical, emotional, spiritual/intellectual through living out the virtues, in creating new habits.
An underlying philosophy of these programmes is to promote the truth on human beings, freedom, and human dignity, as the understanding of sexuality and sexual identity is based upon the unity of the body and spirit of the human person.
This is the answer to counteract CSE from planned parenthood on our doorsteps. This is the solution that will allow parents to stand.
Please consider educating yourselves further on Optimal Health Education
and signing the petition: