SEX CLASS ROLLBACK: Students, parents shocked by graphic lessons

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Adult behaviours such as those described, should not be relevant to the lives of these underage girls Ali High

A PRINCIPAL has taken action after 15-year-olds were asked in a lesson to analyse graphic sexual scenarios described by one parent as “bordering on pornographic”.

The girls were asked to categorise a number of examples of sexual behaviours of middle-aged fictional characters, including graphic descriptions of fantasies and promiscuity.

It is believed the examples were used in a personal development class and were heavily based on the controversial Safe Schools program. The State Government is conducting a review into the contentious material. A PRINCIPAL has taken action after 15-year-olds were asked in a lesson to analyse graphic sexual scenarios described by one parent as “bordering on pornographic”.

The girls were asked to categorise a number of examples of sexual behaviours of middle-aged fictional characters, including “Joseph”, a middle-aged married man who fantasises only about men but talks negatively about homosexuals, although he is attracted to other males.

Another involves a promiscuous heterosexual woman, “Zarita”, who has multiple sexual partners during her 16-year marriage.

And “Philip” was a further example — he started having sex with adult men as an adolescent.

The material, a teaching resource from the NSW Education Department available to all state schools, was brought to the attention of aP & C committee member at Northern Beaches Secondary College, Mackellar Girls campus, who took it to principal Christine Del Gallo.

While Ms Del Gallo was reluctant to comment she said she had “reviewed” the material and had decided to “modify the case studies for future lessons”.

It is believed the examples were used in a personal development class and was heavily based on the Safe Schools program.

The program has been criticised for encouraging teachers to “de-gender” their classroom language and promoting activities that encourage students to think about sexuality as not exclusively masculine or feminine.

P& C member Ali High, 44, said her friend’s Year 10 daughter surreptitiously took a photo of the document on her mobile phone because she felt “shocked” and “violated”.

“Adult behaviours such as those described, should not be relevant to the lives of these underage girls,” Mrs High, a Manly mother of four, said.

“It borders on the pornographic.”

She said her daughter was in the younger years at the school, but she would not want her first idea of sex to come from these examples and her husband was concerned about how middle-aged men, like himself, were being portrayed.

Mrs High said she was also saddened they had used an example of a married woman as having “many” sexual partners.

She said she supported the idea behind the Safe Schools program, which advocates creating safe, nonbullying spaces, but said this material was not relevant.

Mrs High said she was pleased the principal had acted “quickly and desively”, but she was concerned about the source of the material.

“I’ve sent a letter to the Department of Education with my concerns,” she said. “How is this happening? It is very sad.”

The Department of Education said the resource was supporting a PDHPE unit of work linked to the Teacher Toolbox and to the Stage 6 Crossroads program.

“The Minister for Education has asked the Department to review the Teacher Toolbox and the gender diversity material in the Stage 6 Crossroads program,” a spokesman said.

Meanwhile, NSW premier Mike Baird is considering a fundamental change to the Safe Schools program where parents would have to “opt in” to the program rather than the current situation where all students take part unless their parents choose to “opt out”.

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