Solidarity has introduced the Provision of Objective Sex Education Bill 2018. If this bill is passed in the Oireachtas, it would mean that all children in Ireland would have access to objective sex ed for the first time.
The party have launched a petition for support for the Sex Education Bill.
TD Ruth Coppinger said: “Young people deserve to have factual, secular and objective sex education. At present religious ethos clouds the sex education curriculum, meaning LGBTQ+ students are largely ignored, contraception information is limited, and issues around consent are not dealt with sufficiently.”
On the petition page, it states that the sex education bill would deliver:
- Factual, objective and scientific sex education for all schools regardless of religious ethos
- Consent and sexual harassment issues being part of the curriculum
- LGBTQ+ inclusive sex education
- Sex education that is not gender normative and teaches about all genders
- Education on abortion in factual and objective way
- Education on all forms of contraception
Support the #SexEdBill sign our petition. We need factual objective sex education in schools. We need sex education that's LGBTQ+ inclusive, covers consent, deals with contraception without religious based ethos #dubw #repealthe8th #metoo #timesup https://t.co/rszTIUbEpm
— Ruth Coppinger TD (@RuthCoppingerTD) March 15, 2018
Currently, most children in Ireland get a catholic sex ed, as the church controls the vast majority of schools and integrate their ethos into subjects under their curriculum, for example, many RSE and SPHE curriculums are devised with catholic values in mind. This is also true for Education Training Board schools and colleges.
The Department of Education recognised that all children have a right to objective Sex Education in a circular letter.
A Cork school outlines their Sex Education policy on their website, their teachings are typical of an ETB school curriculum:
- The human body is sacred.
- The human body, since it is sexual, expresses the call of men and women to reciprocal love which is a mutual gift of self: sexuality is an enrichment of the whole person – the body, emotions, and soul – manifests its meaning in leading the person to the gift of self in love.
- Marriage the natural context, in which this self-giving love in its entirety is possible – because essentially it is orientated both to the loving unity of the couple and to cooperation with God in bringing new human life into the world.
- Young people thus will be encouraged to value the gift of chastity, and human sexuality which is also a gift.
The Bill introduced by Solidarity follows on from the recommendations of the Citizens Assembly and the Oireachtas Committee of the Eighth Amendment.
Atheist Ireland, who supports this Bill commented: “Solidarity’s Bill will fulfil that recommendation, and ensure that this important right for students would for the first time be given practical application in every school in the country.”
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