North Lanarkshire bans bizarre sex and drugs lessons
North Lanarkshire Council is now the third Council in Scotland to ban classroom materials from the resource list in the Executive’s 5 – 14 Health Education Guide for Teachers.
The controversial materials feature lessons and role playing exercises which are sexually explicit, dealing with topics such as group sex, bondage and anal sex. For homework children are asked to buy condoms from a chemist.
The drugs lessons tell teachers not to adopt an anti-drugs approach and include games where children pretend to be drug dealers. Children are told that a few goes on crack is not necessarily addictive and that inhaling solvents is perfectly legal. Tips are also given for evading the police. Children are told that they do not have to give their correct name if asked.
The Rev Iain Murdoch working with other local community and Church leaders has led a campaign in North Lanarkshire to raise concerns with the Council about the offensive and inappropriate materials.
Rev Murdoch said today
“I am delighted that Dan Sweeney, a Senior Official from the Education Department, has confirmed to me in a public meeting that there is no way in which offensive resources specifically highlighted by myself and others would ever be used in North Lanarkshire.”
“I am grateful that the Council has listened to the widespread concerns held by people in the area, and has given assurances that inappropriate material will not be used in the classroom.”
“Monsignor Michael Conway and myself met the local MSP and Education Minister, Jack McConnell 6 months ago. Whilst he has expressed sympathy with our concerns, Mr McConnell is yet to follow the example of North Lanarkshire by excluding the unsuitable resources as requested. Many Councils have yet to act and it is important that the Education Minister takes responsibility to enforce the legal safeguards passed earlier this year. We are therefore pressing ahead with a petition calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Executive to take action.”
“Mr McConnell has said that parents and children can rely on the statutory guidance that was issued in March, but it is hard to have confidence that the statutory guidance will be enforced given his refusal to take action on specific and obviously inappropriate materials.”
“We consider that the use of such bizarre materials in the classroom would be irresponsible and inappropriate and significantly extend the boundaries of what is seen as normal or morally acceptable in schools.”
The assurances from North Lanarkshire Council relate to stopping the use of The Primary School Sex Education Pack, The Primary School Drug Education Pack, Taking Drugs Seriously, Taking Sex Seriously and the Channel 4 Sex Education Series Living and Growing.
These materials all go on show in an Exhibition organised by the Christian Institute being held at the GLO Centre in Motherwell from 11 am – 6pm on Thursday 6th September. An evening meeting is to be held on the same day and at the same venue from 7.30pm – 9.15pm.
Colin Hart, Director of The Christian Institute (Scotland), said today
“In this matter North Lanarkshire Council has reflected local opinion. They took a sensible approach during the debate on Section 28 (Section 2A). I am very pleased that they have acted on the concerns that have been expressed about sex education.”
“The campaign against the materials is certainly gathering momentum throughout Scotland.”
“We want to give all the assistance we can to those who want to stop the use of the appalling sex and drugs education materials promoted in the official teachers’ handbook.”