She just doesn't feel that it's the right time
A mother in Leicester, England pulled her four-year-old daughter out of school when her daughter started coming home talking about something she felt was inappropriate.
Ziba Khan’s daughter came home from Forest Lodge Academy talking about a certain part of a male’s body. Ziba was concerned because she didn’t know how she learned about “willies” since they had never discussed it at home.
“My eldest daughter is a teacher and she suggested I ask the school, so I did. They told me it was just a toy that they had in the early years foundation stage, but as a parent I was completely unaware they existed,” she told The Metro.
Ziba doesn’t see how there’s educational value in allowing children to play with dolls that have genitals especially considering they’re not actually being taught about what they’re seeing. “I’m not against […] education but this isn’t part of that. The dolls are explicit and there’s just no need for them. There’s a difference between teaching a child using a doll like that and a child playing with one,” she explained.
Ziba asked around to see if other parents were aware of the dolls, and they didn’t seem to know about them. She said that many of them felt that they were also inappropriate for that age group and that they weren’t being used as teaching tools. “It’s taken away my right as a parent to introduce and discuss that sort of thing with her,” the concerned mother explained.
Wanting to get the dolls removed from the classroom, Ziba wrote a letter to the school’s staff. She explained that she feels the doll are not okay for such young children. “I made the choice to separate my son and daughter’s bath time, to avoid what I believe is premature exploration of the body of the opposite [gender]. As her parent I planned to explain and educate her at an age I deem appropriate,” she wrote.
The Dolls Stay
Despite her insistence on disallowing the dolls, the school refused to remove them from the classroom or keep the dolls away from her daughter. Ziba felt that she had no other choice but to take her daughter out of class until the situation is resolved. Then Ziba took up a pen again and complained to the Leicester City Council and the Department of Education.
She assured The Metro that she would bring her daughter back to school eventually.
Though Ziba made her complaint in November of last year, it doesn’t seem as though the dolls have been removed. A spokesman for the Department of Education explained:
“This issue is being dealt with through the usual city council complaints procedure. There is a complaints panel hearing taking place this week which Ms Khan has been invited to attend.”
The Wrong Way
Reactions to the dolls have been mixed with some parents saying it’s really no big deal and other parents saying the dolls are being used inappropriately. Commenter DadBloke said that the dolls aren’t necessarily wrong for kids to play with, but the way they’re allowed to play with them may be giving them the wrong message. He spoke out on Leicester Mercury‘s comments section:
“One of the children’s programmes currently on TV shows the little ones a song and video explaining that what’s in their underwear belongs to them and them only, and if anyone attempts to touch it they need to say no and run away to find someone they trust. We tell them that it’s their private area and then encourage them to play with dolls that are anatomically correct. Which message are we giving them.”
Do you think that small children should be given anatomically-correct dolls to play with? Let us know what you think in the comments and SHARE this story.