Explicit school sex display rebuked by education minister
AN EXPLICIT sex education display, where junior high school students were reportedly shown adult toys, has been rebuked by Queensland's education chiefs.
The makeshift set-up, where vibrators were said to have been displayed alongside condoms and relevant brochures, was approved by a health teacher at Urangan State High School on Wednesday.
The target audience was Year 9 students aged between 14 and 15.
This caused a number of parents to take to social media to complain, sparking a debate which attracted hundreds of emotive comments and forced the school's principal into damage control.
One mother, Kasey Hudson, said she was shocked when her 12-year-old son came home and asked her about the "dildos" shown at school.
She said while her son did not take part in the exercise, older students who had quickly spread the word.
Initially, an Education Queensland spokesman explained a "closely monitored", pre-approved sexual health exercise had been carried out by Year 11 students who "surveyed" their younger peers to gauge their level of "understanding".
They said the display table was "set up in an area not designated to Year 7 students".
This explanation was also posted to the Urangan State High School Facebook page.
The department would not be drawn on whether sex toys or objects resembling sex toys were used in the display.
Just hours later however, Education Queensland's Deputy Director-General of State Schools Patrea Walton the principal, who the Chronicle understands was unaware the display was going to take place, had taken immediate action.
"The school principal has apologised directly to parents who had contacted the school for the failure of the school to comply with departmental policy and practice," Ms Walton said
"The HPE Teacher who gave approval for Year 11 students to set up a sexual health and safety education table has been counselled."
Education Minister Kate Jones said "this should never have happened".
"Parents should have confidence that teachers are going to comply with departmental policy," Ms Jones said.
"I have spoken directly with the principal and I am confident she has taken appropriate action."
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Ms Hudson she had spoken to her son about the "birds and the bees" and had started discussing safe sex, she did not expect to have to explain sex toys just yet.
She was grateful for the call from the principal but adamant parents needed to be informed if there was the potential for their kids to be exposed to school sex talk in future.
"We should be told about any lessons on this issue," Ms Hudson said
"Particularly when there is this discussion about Safe Schools (Urangan State High School is not part of the program) I would like to know what is being taught so when he comes home and says 'what's this?' I am ready and armed."
According to the department, the students who visited the information table were given erasers with the slogan "Rub out STDs" and sexual health brochures.
"All items used at this information table were for demonstration only and monitored carefully, to ensure all were returned," the spokesman said
"Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) covers a broad range of topics including sexual and reproductive health, relationships, growth and development, identity, inter and intra personal skills, gender equality, ethics, values, human rights and responsible decision-making."
What do you think? Email jessica.grewal@frasercoast chronicle.com.au