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An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

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An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

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An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

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Senator Michelle Mulherin

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Snippet Contents:

I would like to raise an issue that is of great concern to quite a number of parents who have contacted me of late. The concern arises out the relationship and sexuality education report, which I understand is under consideration by the Joint Committee on Education and Skills. There are a number of aspects to the report, one of which is compulsory sex education for children at primary school. I understand nothing is finalised yet, but I would like to think we respect the fact that parents are the primary and legal guardians of their children and are responsible for their care and well-being. We should not get into a position where parents cannot exercise their conscience in how their children are raised or educated in these matters. I would like to encourage parents who have concerns about the proposals to make a submission to the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. The closing date for that is 25 October. People should get the opportunity to examine the substance of what is being proposed. It is always a retrograde step to pressure parents in these matters. Parents care for their kids and know what is best for them. We are entitled to have different views in this society and everybody's view should be respected. I sincerely hope we are not moving towards a position where the rights of parents will be overridden or disregarded in matters such as these, which are highly sensitive. That is why it should be down to parents to decide on the nature of the sex education their children get, especially on certain issues. It would be helpful for us to have a debate on this matter in due course.