UK: Teachers and parents in Glasgow sex education protest over ‘pornographic’ lessons in schools


Hundreds of campaigners took to the streets of Glasgow to protest about ‘pornographic’ sex education lessons and surveys in schools.

Parents, teachers and pupils gathered in the city centre demanding a ban on the questionnaires being distributed to senior students.

They say cartoons displaying graphic sex acts being shown to young people in classrooms, and were only introduced this year, the Daily Record reports.

Stef Shaw is a member of the Leave Our Kids Alone campaign and helped organise the demonstration in Robertson Street.

He described the initiative as “disgusting” and insists it is causing real problems for pupils and parents.

He explained: “The indoctrination on this sex education is leaving many children traumatised and has brought lots of parents to withdraw their children from school education to be taught at home. It is not the right of schools to decide on what is stage and age-appropriate for our children, that’s a job for parents and guardians.

“Yes, there should be sex education within schools, teaching the basics but not sordid and explicit pornographic material that frightens or alarms children or parents. To add to this, I am also receiving large amounts of private messages from parents and guardians greatly angered by the sex education surveys throughout Scotland.

“Exactly what is being asked from pupils is disgusting. For anyone to ask children under the legal age of consent questions on the number of sexual partners they have had or/and whether or not they have indulged in sexual intercourse is wrong on every level.”

Pupils are asked about intimate relationships and recent sexual activity and so far almost a third of councils, including Renfrewshire and Inverclyde, have ditched it.

Catriona Taylor, a retired head teacher in Edinburgh, said: “You would not even ask adults the questions that children were being asked in these sex surveys.

“The fact that underage teenagers were being asked questions about their sexual activity has intimated that it was okay to have sex at 13.”

She also raised concerns about items shown to kids during sex education classes, adding: “Some of the materials are totally inappropriate, are sexually explicit and, according to reports from parents, are causing children to be embarrassed, confused, or at worst traumatised by what they are seeing in these lessons.

“As parents are the first educators of their children it is their right to decide when it is appropriate for their child to learn about sexual relationships. And as a teacher it goes against my moral principles to teach this insidious material, and I refuse to do so.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Relationships, sexual health and parenthood resources have been developed to enable children and young people to build positive relationships as they grow and mature. It is good practice for teachers to consult with parents and carers on proposed RSHP lessons and resources in advance. If parents or carers feel the content is not appropriate, they can discuss the withdrawal of a pupil from lessons.

“Health and wellbeing surveys like this one are not new, are not unique to Scotland. Participation is voluntary. These surveys play a crucial role in providing evidence on children and young people’s health and wellbeing including issues relating to food and nutrition, sleep, relationships, bullying, sexual health, substance use, physical activity as well as social media use and mental and emotional health and wellbeing.”

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