Sex-ed classes have been suspended in Isle of Man schools and a formal investigation launched after a drag queen allegedly taught 11-year-olds that there are 73 genders, and other Grade 7 groups were taught about anal sex and sex change surgeries.
According to The Telegraph, the Isle of Man government launched an independent review of its sex-ed curriculum in response to parent complaints about the “graphic, disproportionate, indecent presentation” involving descriptions of sexual acts and discussion about gender identities in lessons.
When one reportedly “upset” child disagreed about there being 73 genders, responding that there are “only two,” the drag queen allegedly replied, “you’ve upset me” and made the student leave the class.
Further complaints allege that one group of Grade 7 students was taught about oral and anal sex, while another group in the same grade was shown images of phalloplasty surgery, which involves surgeons stripping the skin and flesh of a female patient’s forearm and using it to construct a non-functional appendage resembling a penis.
“A lot of children are just too traumatized to even talk to their parents,” Eliza Cox, vice-chairman of Marown Commissioners, told Energy FM Isle of Man. “As a parent, you don’t know what your child is being taught.”
Cox said one young teacher on the island had told her that she was required to teach a class of Grade 7 and 8 students how to masturbate, and another was reportedly so uncomfortable with the content of a sex-ed lesson that she asked the students not to listen to her while she was teaching it.
In September, the Department of Education adopted a new curriculum for its Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PHSE) lessons, and many are not happy with its content, which even includes descriptions of "fisting," and fetishes.
Parents have launched a petition that has already garnered more than 500 signatures calling for an “immediate investigation into the alleged actions of teachers delivering the age-inappropriate material to children.”
“We consider the attendance of a ‘drag queen’ in class and alienating students clearly confused about the information discussed during this session wholly inappropriate,” read the petition. “How, who and why was this guest speaker permitted to discuss gender issues to an inappropriate child audience by an inexperienced and untrained adult?”
The Isle of Man government has responded by launching “an independent review to gain an independent understanding of what has taken place,” Julie Edge, minister for education said in a statement.
“The department has taken the decision to pause all RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) delivery across primary and secondary schools and will be unable to comment any further until the facts have been established,” said Edge.
Conservative MP Miriam Cates believes parents in England are also unaware of what their children are being taught in sex-ed classes.
“When parents raise serious safeguarding concerns about inappropriate and sexualising materials being used in sex education lessons in schools, the right response is to pause these lessons whilst the matter can be investigated,” said Cates.
“I applaud the authorities in the Isle of Man for making this decision. But similar - and worse - materials are being used in schools across the UK and the Department for Education has persistently ignored whistleblowers who raise concerns. The UK Government needs to take its lead from the Isle of Man.”
However, Charlotte Clark, principal of Queen Elizabeth II High School, is questioning the veracity of many of the allegations.
“Having viewed a video that is currently circulating on social media relating to the school’s RSE curriculum and its delivery, we are concerned that there could be a number of inaccuracies with the information being shared,” said Clark.
“Given the concerns being raised, and in order to be open and transparent, we requested an independent review into the situation. As such I am happy to take part in the independent review which is being deployed by the Department of Education, Sport and Culture and would encourage our community to avoid speculation at this time.”
"Schools must make sure all content they use is factual and age-appropriate, and engage with parents so they are aware of what their children are being taught,” said a spokesperson for the Department of Education.
“We will write to all schools this term to emphasise the rights of parents to see teaching materials being taught to their children in schools.”
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