A new sex education program for Catholic elementary schools describing sex and puberty as a “gift from God” has been released.
Flourish, a Relationship and Sexuality Education (RSE) program, was developed by the Irish Bishops’ Conference for young children through sixth grade.
The resources are available for Catholic elementary schools, which make up about 90 percent of all national schools but are not compulsory, say sources related to it.
An introduction to the program states that when discussing LGBT issues, “the Church’s teaching on marriage between a man and a woman cannot be omitted”.
The senior class program states that “puberty is a gift from God. We are perfectly designed by God to procreate with him. “During a lesson on safety and protection for older toddlers advising saying the angel of God prayer.
The new program precedes the updated curriculum of the National Council on Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) for Relationships and Sex Education. This updated course applies to all elementary schools. However, schools are entitled to offer these programs according to their ethos.
Mick Barry, a Solidarity TD, said he would question how the program qualifies as adequate sex education.
“Religion shouldn’t affect relationships and sex education in schools,” he said.
Mr Barry said his party’s “objective sex education” bill would guarantee factual relationships and sex education across schools if passed.
Atheist Ireland said that many non-religious families have no choice but to send their children to publicly funded national schools under the auspices of the Catholic Church running this program.
“Why on earth would non-religious parents want their children to teach moral and social values based on the supposed teachings of a god? There is not a balance of rights here, but tightening controls to ensure that the Catholic Church can continue to evangelize and indoctrinate, ”a statement said.
However, the Irish Bishops’ Conference said that all teaching in Catholic elementary schools in areas related to Church teaching is inviting using the approaches outlined in the curriculum. The biological aspects of the Flourish program were fully in line with the NCCA curriculum. The program will be amended if necessary once the Council’s review of relationships and sex education is completed.
The Ministry of Education said that all schools must have relationships and sexuality education policies that are developed in consultation with the school community, including school administrators, parents, teachers and students.
It is important to note that “the ethos of the school should never prevent learners from acquiring knowledge of the subject, but the ethos can influence how that content is treated”.
A document attached to the Flourish program states that there is no such thing as an “ethos-free” approach to relationships and sex education as it has to be rooted in a particular value system.
It is said that the Catholic school must view these issues in a “moral framework that reflects the teachings of the Church”.
“The RSE program in the Catholic school must not encourage shame, but rather confirm that every person is created in the image and likeness of God and is loved by God as he is,” it says.
“The same moral obligation to respect and treat our bodies with dignity applies to people of all sexual orientation. However, the teaching of the Church regarding marriage between a man and a woman cannot be left out. ”