ALL schoolchildren "require opportunities to engage in developmentally appropriate sex and sexuality exploration"??
We all know by now that early-age sex education has coincided with an increase in juvenile sexual activity but this would seem to positively encourage it
QUEENSLAND teachers have been told that all children "require opportunities to engage in developmentally appropriate sex and sexuality exploration".
A professional development series run by Education Queensland and Queensland Health, designed to help teachers cope with the growing problem, also questioned whether parents should be told about some incidents because of the distress it caused.
Child welfare group Bravehearts and the State Opposition claimed the information was "frightening" and "concerning" and came at a time of exponential growth in young children acting sexually towards their peers.
Former Education Queensland student services executive director Leith Sterling acknowledged some sexualised behaviour policies had been unclear and said Education Queensland was considering "embedding" protective behaviours in the curriculum.
Teachers were told experimental sexual play was normal but if a child could not be easily diverted, or had used aggression, it was a problem.
Prep children masturbating in class was considered to be developmentally appropriate given there was no concerning context. An example of two Prep children mutually taking part in the act prompted one health professional to ask teachers whether it was worth telling parents, if the children could be diverted from the activity.
The session was run last year with Education Queensland initially refusing to provide public access to it. Information was released only after a Right to Information application.
The department's policies have since come under question after it was revealed year one and two boys had allegedly performed sex acts on young girls at one state school which had 18 allegations of sexualised behaviour among pupils last year – 11 of them reported to police last year.
Education Queensland director-general Lyn McKenzie said there were systems in place to help staff deal with the issue and engage with parents on any incident where student welfare was a concern.
An Education Queensland spokesman said the claim that "all children require opportunities to engage in developmentally appropriate sex and sexuality exploration" was not the department's policy and "expert" opinion only.
But Bravehearts executive director Hetty Johnston said she found the statement frightening as the number of reported incidents was "growing exponentially".
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).