Schools to teach about abortion and pornography
Schools would teach students about abortion and pornography in a radical shake up of sex education in Ireland under proposals to be published today.
Members of the Oireachtas Education Committee make recommendations on both issues in their new report on Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE).
Previously the Irish Independent revealed how the report will say that Catholic schools will have to teach children about gay, lesbian and transgender relationships.
It is also making recommendations on discussing reproductive health care and the "negative impact of pornography" with students. The committee notes there was a consensus from witnesses around the need for more education on pornography and abortion in schools.
The final draft of the report includes a recommendation saying that "reproductive health care forms an integral and fundamental part of all discussions on and reforms of SPHE [Social, Personal and Health Education] and RSE".
Committee sources confirmed that it is intended that this includes discussion of abortion in classrooms at an appropriate age, as well as contraception and other reproductive health issues.
Another recommendation is that the Department of Education would monitor and request data on homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools so it can ensure the safety of students.