The Oak Park Our Whole Lives (OWL) Board of Directors strongly condemns the recent unjustified and personal social media attack on one of the facilitators in our program. Oak Park OWL is an independent nonprofit organization that has been providing holistic, comprehensive and inclusive sexuality education to children in kindergarten through ninth grade and their families since 2016. 

Someone posted personal information about this facilitator in a community group with a message to the effect that she was harming children by doing this. The post received many vicious and violent comments before it could be removed, including death threats and slander (dissenting commenters were blocked). This attack has been reported to the police. Last Thursday, a workshop on gender equity organized by District 97’s DivCo was also disrupted by slurs and violent imagery.

Hate-filled incidents such as these only serve to emphasize the need for holistic sexuality education in our community. Education is the number one way to protect children from sexual abuse. Educating children and youth about sexuality empowers them to recognize and enforce their own boundaries about their bodies. It gives them the information they need to make healthy choices and reduces the likelihood of teenage pregnancy. 

Inclusive sexuality education teaches that all forms of gender identity and sexual orientation are part of the natural range of human experience, not simply a preference. This is a life-saving message in a social context where a majority of transgender and nonbinary youth have contemplated suicide in the last year. We provide a space where young people feel affirmed and supported regardless of how they identify.

Oak Park OWL understands and respects that parents are the primary sexuality educators of their children. Children learn far more from their parents than they could in an eight- to twelve-week educational program. Parents have choices regarding their children’s sexuality education, and we are an optional, extracurricular program. We work with families in our program to support conversations between parents and children at home, as well as offering workshops for parents and other caring adults to help them feel more confident in their roles as sexuality educators. 

Oak Park OWL is an all-volunteer program run by local parents and other invested adults. If you’re interested in supporting our work, please reach out. We have many volunteer opportunities. 

You can find our volunteer form on our website, as well as a donation button. We invite you to join us in helping build a better world for our children.

Nina Brewer-Davis
Nara Nayar
Eric Reeb
JC Ravage
Nicklin Heap

Oak Park Our Whole Lives Board of Directors

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