Concerned mothers and grandparents from across the Highlands have raised fears about children as young as five receiving “inappropriate” sex education.
The mums, who do not want to be identified, for fear of reprisals on their children, are considering removing children from school – to have control over what children are being taught.
Willing to be named, the grandparents of children in one Highland school raised concerns about the long-term impact of giving too much information to kids from an early age.
‘Education is divisive’
Former educator and social policy graduate Anne Reitzug said she and her pediatrician husband Henry were seeing the “deliberate and premature sexualisation of children”.
Mrs Reitzug said: “Education in Scotland has become divisive.
“It is well-documented that the early sexualisation of children can lead to so many social problems, including low self-esteem, early sexuality and a higher rate of sexually transmitted infections, and an increase in self-harm and suicide.
“We have researched this, studied this and can point to research where it clearly shows this is not good for children.
“It is unacceptable. And it is not just the lessons themselves, it is the fact that the ethos is throughout all lessons.
“The current focus on sex and gender in education is a social contagion – and will impact on all children, but particularly on girls.”
Mrs Reitzug described reading a book given to her grandchild where a wolf was dressed in sheep’s clothing. The wolf identified as a sheep – and therefore, the book concluded, it was a sheep.
She continued: “I understand Scotland is the first country to imbed the relationships, sexual health and parenthood (RSHP) sex education. Parents don’t know what is being taught, if they did they would be terrified.”
Vulva not vagina
RSHP is a resource developed by Scottish councils and health boards and can be used in early learning settings, schools, colleges and community-based learning.
In the early years, it has among its resources for the classroom showing drawings of male and female children, it outlines that parents are a child’s “first and most important teacher”.
In the second stage of the curriculum resources – for primary two to four, it teaches about different parts of the body, including: bottom, nipples, penis, scrotum/testicles and vulva.
It states: “Penis: Boys have a penis. When a boy urinates/goes to the toilet (children will have words they use), it comes out of his penis. When we learn more about how babies are made, we will learn more about the penis.”
And continues: “Vulva: Girls have a vulva. When a girl urinates/goes to the toilet, it comes out of her vulva. (N.B. If a child uses the word vagina to describe this part, you can respond with: Sometimes people use the word vagina, but the vagina is actually just the bit inside the girl. So, if you are a girl, the bit you see between your legs when you look at your body is your vulva.)”
In the next stage, set for primary five to seven, it states that there should be a fair and equal life for girls and boys: “Explain then that there are some people who grow up feeling that the sex they were born just doesn’t fit how they feel.
“Ask if the children have heard the word transgender and introduce the term/definition on the slides, and talk through to ensure understanding.”
One mum, who lives on the Black Isle, has already removed her children from sex education classes. She said: “Sex education is best dealt with at home.
“The sex education and the gender ideology that is being pushed is not safeguarding children.”
Another mum, from Inverness, said she had picked through the sex education curriculum and compared it to what it was to “groom” children, adding: “I struggled to find what was different.
“In some of the descriptions being given to children, and what is being discussed, you could not get any closer to what it is to groom a child.”
One mum, from the Beauly area, said: “I am seriously considering homeschooling. I am hearing things – and it is terrifying, it goes against what I believe.”
The mums say they have raised the issue with the council, teachers and with MSPs.
Another Inverness mum said: “There is absolutely no need to give young children the adult names of body parts.”
She said: “One pupil in a Highland school was told they could be a boy, or a girl and they could change what they were from day to day. They were told they could be anything they wanted.”
One mum feared her child would be taught about anal sex, and felt that images that had been shown to her son should be reported to the police, and had no place in the classroom.
She said: “They have innocent little minds, once they have been corrupted it is difficult to step back and unlearn, or unsee what they have seen.
‘God made you that way’
“There is an attitude in universities that teachers know better than parents. They don’t.
“Our children spend so much time with teachers, they have to trust them – we have to trust them. At the moment I am finding that difficult.”
Another said: “We just want our children to learn to read and write.
“We do not want the focus to be on sex. At the moment it is as if it is the be-all and end-all of life. They have separated sex from intimacy.”
“Education is now so self-focused and it is causing problems.
“My daughter was told she can be anything she wants – man or woman, and that it can change. She was even told ‘God made you that way’.
“It is an opinion, it is not a fact.
“I can’t see how telling them absolute filth is going to protect them from abuse – it is abuse. Their brains can not take it – they should not be exposed to it.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said the Scottish Government was “determined” to ensure all children and young people receive high-quality relationships, sexual health and parenthood education.
He said it was for local authorities and schools to decide how best to deliver the curriculum based on local needs and circumstances.
He said: “The RSHP resource does not promote sexual activity. It was developed in partnership by 11 health boards and four local authorities to provide teachers with factual resources and information to support pupils’ understanding of consent, appropriate sexual behaviours and reproductive health, in a non-judgemental manner.
“The resource includes up-to-date content that can support teachers to deliver high quality and age and stage appropriate RSHP education across the entire 3-18 age range of the Curriculum for Excellence.”
A Highland Council spokeswoman said: “Highland schools follow national advice and guidance from the Scottish Government regarding equality and diversity.
“As is noted on their website, the RSHP resource has been developed by a partnership of local authorities and health boards, with advice from Education Scotland and the Scottish Government.
“Individual schools are supported by our education team with a wide range of approved resources.
“Schools are empowered to design and develop their curriculum which takes into account their own local circumstances, and make decisions on how they recognise, support and manage the needs of all pupils.”