Parents are outraged after learning students in grade 2 are shown pictures of genitals, grade 3 the clitoris, and grade 4 being taught about gay couples in school.
Sex education in Victoria’s primary schools came under fire from Opposition education spokesman Tim Smith this week, who said he was approached by parents and family groups about the appropriateness of the classes.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia on Monday, Mr Smith said some of the concepts and images shown to children, as young as seven, ‘belong in an X-rated movie’.
Mr Smith said some of the concepts and images shown to children as young as seven, belonged ‘in an X-rated movie’
‘Sex education is vital but there are certain aspects of the program that are age inappropriate, totally over-the-top graphic and just unnecessary,’ he said.
‘Some of this stuff belongs in an X-rated movie, and for seven and eight-year-olds to be exposed to this material is totally inappropriate. Just let kids be kids.
‘You have to let parents decide when to have those conversations with children, when they’re ready and in the manner they feel appropriate.’
Mr Smith said the ‘hyper-sexual’ material was the difference between sex education and ‘sexuality education’.
The Catching on Early: Sexuality Education for Victorian Primary Schools program shows students in grade 2 drawings of male and female genitalia.
The program goes into more detail in grade 3, featuring drawings of circumcised and uncircumcised penises, the clitoris and the prostate.
Grade 4 students explore same sex couples, pregnancy and contraception.
Grade 4 students in Victoria reportedly explore same sex couples, conception and contraception
The Catching on Early: Sexuality Education for Victorian Primary Schools program features drawings of male and female genitalia in grade 2 (stock)
One father said his daughter who was in grade 2 at a Victorian primary school grew uncomfortable around her male classmates after she was shown drawings of genitalia in class.
‘She didn’t want to go swimming because the boys had their tops off. We never had a problem before and then all of a sudden she did,’ he told the Herald Sun.
The sex education program divided different associations.
The conservative Australian Family Association called for a review of the program, with President Terri Kelleher branding the images used ‘very explicit, very graphic’, and ‘not appropriate’.
Education Minister James Merlino also defended the program, which was introduced in 2011 under the Liberal government
Parents Victoria executive officer Gail McHardy disagreed.
She said the program was ‘normal and healthy’ and students were otherwise exposed to much more explicit materials outside of the classroom.
‘There is no shame in any of this teaching material. To suggest otherwise is wicked and potentially detrimental to students’ health and well-being,’ she told the Herald Sun.
Education Minister James Merlino also defended the program, which was introduced in 2011 under the Liberal government.
Mr Merlino questioned Mr Smith for his opposition, saying it appeared he was more interested in overhauling the sex education program than he was in the school system itself.