The objective sex education bill has progressed to the next stage of the Dáil despite facing planned opposition from Fianna Fáil.
The party’s spokesman for education Thomas Byrne said the party had “principled objection to this Bill on the basis that Ireland has never legislated in law for a curriculum of any type”.
He also stated that the Provision of Objective Sex Education Bill would create changes to the “characteristic spirit of schools” and that the bill had been drafted without consulting education partners.
Factual, accurate sex information embracing LGBT+ identities must be prioritised over the religious ethos of a school. We are so delighted that the #sexedbill passed & now moves to the Education Committee
— BeLonG To (@BeLonG_To) April 19, 2018
A number of rural independent TDs also planned to reject the legislation but fewer than 10 TDs claimed a formal division today, meaning the bill progresses to the next stage without a vote – the Education and Skills Committee.
The development has been welcomed by Solidarity People Before Profit who introduced the bill claiming sex education in Ireland was “in the dark ages”.
The party urged members of the public last night to contact their local TDs in an effort to rally support for the bill.
The Bill would see a roll out of factual, objective and scientific sex education for all schools regardless of religious ethos and would be LGBT+ inclusive.
Outdated Sex Education Curriculum
Minister for Education Richard Bruton said that the current sex education curriculum had been set in the 1990s and “it has now certainly been superseded by a lot of changes”.
He has asked the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment to review all aspects of sex and relationship education in primary and post-primary schools.
PASSED TO COMMITTEE STAGE WITHOUT VOTE NEEDED #SexEdBill
Well done to @RuthCoppingerTD ✊? pic.twitter.com/mTPWmNbScG
— Union Of Students In Ireland (@TheUSI) April 19, 2018
The education committee is now seeking submissions on sexual health and relationship education.
Committee Chair Fiona O’Loughlin, TD said: “As part of its Work Programme, the Committee agreed to undertake a review of sexual health and relationship education and matters relating to the areas of contraception and consent, in primary and post-primary schools, colleges, youth clubs and other organisations involved in education and interactions with young people. It is timely and important that a thorough review of sexual health and relationship education is undertaken.
Therefore, the Committee has agreed to seek written submissions from interested groups or individuals in relation to this matter. We will consider any suitably written submissions received and may decide to invite a number of contributors to public hearings should it be considered necessary. We welcome the recently announced review of relationships and sexuality education in schools which will be undertaken by the Department. Our report will be forwarded to the Minister and we would expect that our examination of this subject will feed into and help to inform that review.”
The closing date for submissions is 12 noon on Friday 20th April 2018. Written submissions should be sent electronically by email to the following e-mail address only: [email protected]
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