Monday 6 June 2011

Child protection reforms must be wider and stronger than the Bailey review

Paul Tully of Safe at School
The protection of children against sexualisation must go further than today’s Bailey review.

Safe at School, a campaign by SPUC, said that the government must move to ban explicit sex education videos which are being shown to primary school-children. Widely-used material produced by Channel 4 and the BBC is causing upset to children and anger among informed parents who have contacted Safe at School for support.

Political leaders and legal authorities should take a robust stance against the use of such material. Showing it to children is an abuse.

Paul Tully (pictured) of Safe at School told the media earlier today:
“The Bailey review’s recommendations are steps in the right direction but they are nonetheless weak and limited. While it is right for Sir Reg to respond to parents’ worries about children seeing sex online, it is wrong that the review omitted to address parents’ worries about children being shown sex in the classroom. Channel Four’s ‘Living and Growing’ and the BBC’s ‘Whiteboard’ sex education programmes go into graphic detail about sexual organs, masturbation and intercourse. These videos are being shown to primary school children around the country, and many parents' objecting to them are fobbed off.

“We welcome Sir Reg’s stress on parental involvement, but the review’s reliance upon the Advertising Standards Authority and officials responsible for regulating broadcasting and advertising will not be effective. The advertising media are fiercely competitive and the drive to use sexual images and sexual messages to grab attention is very strong. Companies selling condoms and abortions have started advertising on TV and radio, while pro-life groups have been told not to repeat safety information about morning-after pills. What is required is that both governments and the courts take a much stricter line in banning as obscene videos, advertisements and literature which facilitate and legitimise under-age sexual activity.”
SPUC has launched a nationwide petition calling upon the Education Secretary to protect children from explicit sex lessons in primary schools. SPUC and Safe at School are calling upon MPs to support their constituents in gathering signatures for it. Branches of SPUC around the country are now organising events to collect signatures and will be contacing their local MPs to invite support.

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