Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien TD today asked the Minister for Education to ensure that comprehensive, evidence based sex education on was introduced in schools.
Deputy O’Brien said;
“We welcome that students receive some form of sex education in schools but we are aware that schools are allowed tailor this according to the ethos of their school.
“We have a concern that as a result some schools are bringing in external organisations who disregard any discussion of contraception or other contentious issues.
“Sinn Féin has commended the Minister for making good strides in tackling homophobic bullying but we are concerned that this work is undermined when conservative groups delivering sex education silence and whitewash the experiences and needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.
“LGBT experiences should not be let fall by the wayside in classrooms, as this is ultimately integral to building a society based on equality.
“We welcome the Minister’s commitment to introducing a parents charter that will give them more say in this issue, but really what is needed is an overall reform of the sex education curriculum that is based on best practice and focused on issues of consent, contraception use and protecting their health.
“Allowing best practice to be overridden by a concern for religious ethos is outdated and needs to be changed in so that sex education for students is fit for purpose.”