Many variables impact what children learn, especially within a school. Information of all kinds has become easily accessible to people — including children. However, there can still be complicated situations where children are deprived of their rights to comprehensive education.
Censorship primarily happens when the school removes or manipulates learning material. These are the materials chosen by authorities and parents deemed to be inappropriate for children. Some may include sex, nudity, and other themes that can be controversial for many people.
But how exactly does it affect our children? And how do our school counselors deal with censorship? If there are restrictions in place, teachers and other staff may be forbidden to mention specific terms or show some materials. Yet, your counselor may be the answer in providing a complete and comprehensive education for your child’s needs.
The Effects Of School Censorship In Children
Children are susceptible to many types of abuse and violence. As parents, you would want to protect your children from everything harmful in the world. Children should be safe, but they also need opportunities to learn. Censorship only leaves them with more questions and no answers.
A child who has not received any sex education will not have any idea about birth control methods. They will also not have adequate knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases. As a result, they will have no idea how to keep themselves safe or choose a sexual partner.
Without proper sexual education, these children can grow believing hearsay from sources that are not credible. Worse, they may get their initial knowledge from their peers and social groups.
Cultural And International Worldviews
Censorship in schools may also leave gaping holes in cultural and international worldviews. Not exposing children to diverse viewpoints is harmful to their education and development. For instance, if a child does not have literary sources about racial discrimination and abuse, they will not be aware of the struggles certain people face. These children will grow not understanding the implications of their rights and privileges. Censorship restricts a child’s ability to learn and grow.
Consider as well that children may find censored information without the guidance of an adult or counselor. Rather than try to hide information, it’s best to guide students through it. Teach them to navigate complex topics rather than hide from them.
Censorship closes off ideas, leaving children with narrow worldviews. There are plenty of differing viewpoints in the world — children with access to the internet will discover them, despite the best censors. Knowledge without guidance is dangerous to a child’s growth, possibly leading to mindsets prone to bigotry, discrimination, or worse.
How Counselors Deal With Censorship
Children deserve a good education. They must receive holistic learning about the different fields of knowledge. This is why school counselors occupy a critical role in supplementing your children’s education. They may provide answers to your children’s questions outside a regular classroom.
Providing Guidance And Support To Children
In dealing with censorship, the primary role of counselors is to help your children with their problems. Children and young adults both need guidance and support. As a result, they will tend not to talk about certain things they might perceive as taboo. These may include:
- Student speech
- Sexual practices
- Sexual abuse
- Sexual orientation
- Drug addiction
- Racial discrimination
- Mental health and suicide
School counselors help your children overcome difficulties relating to censorship. They provide a safe space for students to vent their grievances and issues in school. Moreso, they are tasked to uphold confidentiality and anonymity. Therefore, anything discussed during sessions should stay between your child and the counselor.
Teaching Inclusive And Comprehensive Materials
Aside from providing support and guidance, your counselor is also equipped to educate your children. Even if the school censors specific topics, they can be a great source of inclusive and comprehensive education. Depending on the restrictions of your child’s school, your counselor must provide adequate information about the issues they are facing.
It’s important to let students know that counseling is available, open, and inclusive of topics that need to be taught. For example, school counselors could organize programs to teach about complex topics like sexual education or mental health. However, it’s important to also listen to students and discuss issues they want to know about.
Counselors should also consider using technology to their advantage. Today, most students have easy access to the internet, and few do not have smartphones of some kind. It would help to make teaching materials easily accessible to them via the internet.
Collaborating With Parents And Institutions
Most importantly, what your counselor can do to deal with censorship is involve parents and other institutions. Your counselor takes an active part in educating parents and the authorities about the negative implications of censorship, especially when it affects your child’s security and well-being.
Aside from your school, they can collaborate with progressive non-government organizations and government agencies. They can also be part of lobbying for the removal of certain restrictions in materials and topics. Counselors can be active advocates for your child’s rights for a comprehensive education.