From the Principal

Happiness, health and safety for young people in a world of online access

It will not be news to you that our daughters and sons inhabit a world very different from the one that we knew when we were at school. Much of this change has made the world a safer and happier place. We are better protected against disease and road trauma, we are better educated and have information at our fingertips and we have greater understanding of ourselves and others across the world than ever before. Technology and the digital world has brought all manner of great opportunities, knowledge and access to the world of a young person, but it has also brought its own challenges and burdens. One of these is the subversive cancer that is pornography.

For many young people their first exposure to pornography is accidental and unintended, but all credible research says that the vast majority of boys and most girls have witnessed pornography by the age of 13. This is very different to 20 years ago.

What they view, accidentally or deliberately, is also far different from the pornography of the past and recent research indicates clearly that its effects on their views of the other gender, their management of their relationships and their own health and wellbeing, are being negatively shaped by it.

I write both as a Principal and as a father of two adolescent children. This is a journey that you, I and all parents are walking together, but until now, a journey walked largely in silence. Put simply, it’s time we talked about it as a community.

Below you will see that on 31 October, we are inviting all parents of students in Year 7 to 12 to come to an information session and discussion forum on this fraught topic. If you are a secondary parent, you will receive an invitation and Trybooking link for this evening by email. I urge all secondary parents to attend, to listen, to question and to contribute. This is too important for our children for us to turn away from, regardless of how difficult the topic is, how hard the conversations will be and how challenging it will be to try to partner with our children on this.

For parents of younger children, while we welcome your attendance, however, we will conduct an age and stage targeted session for Junior Schools’ parents later this term.

Details:

Parent Information Evening – Young people and pornography

Myths, facts and how we can help young people to develop healthy relationships

Pornography is not new, but it has never been so accessible. Exposure among young people is widespread. In fact, for many young people, it can be more difficult to avoid pornography than to see it.

Pornography presents a distorted view of sex and relationships. Despite this, many young people’s sexual understandings and expectations are being shaped by the images they – or their partners or peers – see online from a young age.

Pornography is an issue that cannot be ignored. Tintern Grammar is committed to equipping students for healthy social and sexual development, in partnership with their parents. We hope all parents of Years 7-12 students will join us for an interactive special information session to explore:

  • What do parents need to know about pornography and young people?
  • How can parents support their children to grow into a sexuality that is both safe and respectful?
  • What is Tintern Grammar doing to support students’ healthy development?

Please join us on 31 October at 7 pm in the CM Wood Performance Centre to tackle this scourge together. Please book via Trybooking here.

I really hope you can attend, engage with this very difficult issue of our modern world and contribute to an increased awareness, understanding and plan of action, for all of us.

Factis non verbis

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