A school has been slammed for handing out leaflets suggesting students ‘suck each other’s toes’ or ‘buy them some nice underwear’ as opposed to having sex.
Pupils in Year 9 and above at Shevington High School in Wigan, Greater Manchester were given the booklet and told to take them home and ‘discuss it with a parent’.
Carl Lawrence said he was left ‘shocked and bewildered’ after his daughter Emma, 14, showed him the leaflet, which even suggests teenagers propose marriage.
As well suggesting his underage daughter drive a car, the leaflet proposed she ‘go on a loveboat’ or even ‘each suck one end of a long piece of spaghetti’.
Emma claims she was left shocked that when children laughed at the suggestions in class, a teacher told them: ‘You don’t know if you like it until you try it’.
A school has been slammed for handing out leaflets suggesting students ‘suck each other’s toes’ or ‘buy them some nice underwear’ as opposed to having sex
Carl Lawrence (left) said he was left ‘shocked and bewildered’ after his daughter Emma, 14, showed him the leaflet (shown right, Emma with her mother Stacy)
Now Mr Lawrence is urging Shevington High School to ‘proof read’ the literature in future to ensure that what the children are told is age appropriate.
The leaflet’s creator – Spectrum Community Health CIC – defended its contents and said that it would help young people make ‘safer choices’.
Mr Lawrence said: ‘I was bewildered. I understand children need to be made aware of the world, but should we really be promoting fetishes in Year 9? I don’t think so.
‘The first thing that stood out was “suck their toes”. That’s quite niche.
‘There were some [ideas] I was really shocked at. I don’t think they’ve hit the target demographic. There is no way I think a 14-year-old should be reading this.
‘When I spoke to my daughter I said ‘you do know this isn’t the only way to do things?’
‘Surely they can just enjoy each other’s company. They can go for walks, watch a film, go to Burger King, go to the park.
‘There’s tons of things she can do that don’t involved getting someone’s big toe in her mouth.’
Ten bizarre suggestions in the leaflet
1. Suck their toes
2. Propose marriage
3. Drive for two hours to see them for one
4. Nibble their ears
5. Buy them some nice underwear
6. Walk a thousand miles for one of their smiles
7. Each suck one end of a long piece of spaghetti
8. Go on a loveboat
9. Buy them a piece of the moon
10. Tell them they are beautiful even if they look rough
Emma had initially taken the sex ed booklet home to her mum Stacey Larkin, but Stacey was so embarrassed, she passed the baton of responsibility to Carl.
As the dad and daughter sat down together, Mr Lawrence was baffled that it suggested Emma ‘drive for two hours’ to show her love – despite being two years too young to get behind the wheel of a car.
Mr Lawrence said: ‘My daughter brought this leaflet home and said ‘we’ve been asked to discuss this with a parent’.
‘Her mum had looked at it and said ‘no, speak to your dad’. I think her mum was embarrassed – it’s very much a taboo subject still.
‘One of the suggestions was ‘drive for two hours just to see them for one’. I mean, that’s aggravated TWOCing [Taking Without Owner’s Consent] at age 14.
‘There were other things like ‘hang a banner outside a plane saying I love you’.
‘We’re a working-class family – we go to Card Factory instead of Clintons. There’s no way we’ll be [adding up] pennies to drop banners from planes – especially at that age when relationships are over within six months anyway.
‘It also had ‘propose marriage’. I don’t understand how it’s gone to print without being proof-read by someone who could ask ‘is this sensible?’
After finding out the booklet had been handed out to children aged 13 to 15, Mr Lawrence then decided to jokingly message Emma’s boyfriend about the toe-sucking tip.
As well suggesting his underage daughter drive a car, the leaflet proposed she ‘go on a loveboat’ or even ‘each suck one end of a long piece of spaghetti’
He has since urged educators to give teens the chance to ‘find things out themselves’ instead of ‘pointing them in the direction of every other possibility’.
Mr Lawrence said: ‘This is prime age for sex education, but it may be a bit strange if she’s thinking about sucking her boyfriend’s toes.
‘I sent [her boyfriend] a message saying ‘if you remember six months ago, I warned you, ‘whatever you do to my daughter I’m prepared to do to you. Well, when it comes to sucking toes, you’re safe – I’m going nowhere near your trotters’.
‘He replied “me neither. That’s disgusting – I didn’t even know that was a thing”.
‘There were also bits about being careful about inhibitions when drinking alcohol, which is great.
The leaflet’s creator – Spectrum Community Health CIC – defended its contents and said that it would help young people make ‘safer choices’
‘We should be saying there are alternatives to the physical side of things, but I don’t think we should be pointing them in the direction of every other possibility.
‘I think when it comes to children, as parents and responsible adults, we safeguard them. There’s certain things kids should learn about through their life.
‘Kids like to explore and find things out themselves.’
Emma said: ‘Every Monday we have an hour lesson learning about things in the book.
‘We were all looking at it laughing and we asked the teacher and she said ‘you don’t know if you like it until you try it’. I was shocked.
‘We were all telling the other years and asking ‘have you been told to suck people’s toes?’ They said yes. It was given out to one year above and one year below.’
Shevington High School said that the council would respond on their behalf.
Wigan Council said Spectrum Community Health CIC would respond on their behalf.
A spokesperson for Spectrum Community Health CIC said: ‘Spectrum’s Relationships and Sex Education Programme provides information and support to young people throughout their high school journey, helping them to make safer choices.
‘From Year Nine onwards we also introduce our RSE magazine, which is adapted every year in response to feedback from young people, parents and schools.
‘The 101 Ways were created by teenagers and are referenced by Spectrum in the context of the classroom lessons they support.’