Search

Take control, immam tells parents fearing sex education for 8-year-olds

18:53 30 June 2011

Yusuf Patel addresses meeting at East London Muslim centre

Yusuf Patel addresses meeting at East London Muslim centre

Angry parents worried about sex education being taught in primary schools against their wishes have been urged to stand up for their rights to get the lessons scrapped.

They packed a meeting at the East London Muslim centre over fears that children as young as eight are being “primed for sex” by being made to watch explicit DVDs.

Children can be withdrawn from Sex & Relationship lessons—but campaigners say some schools are using the same education material in science instead, as part of the compulsory National Curriculum.

Now workshops are being set up to train parents to get more involved in running schools to avoid culturally-sensitive issues that parents object to, the meeting decided.

Immam Abdul Qayyum of the East London Mosque urged the mainly-Muslim audience of 200 to take a more proactive part in their children’s education—and even become school governors.

But campaign organiser Yusuf Patel warned of myths about parents’ rights which was stopping them.

“The schools tell you sex education is compulsory,” he said. “But it’s not statutory in primary schools—some don’t even teach it. It’s simply a myth.”

Another was parents having ‘no say’ in what’s being taught.

“You have the legal right over what sexual images are being used,” he pointed out. “You have to remind schools of their legal responsibilities.”

The row is over a Channel 4 educational DVD containing graphic images of human reproduction—normally used for non-compulsory ‘sex and relationship’ classes—being included in science biology instead. This was how schools get round objections, say parents.

The move to get primary school sex education dropped in Tower Hamlets, launched by SRE Islam lobby group, is being backed by the national ‘Safe at School’ campaign, an offshoot of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

It’s campaign co-ordinator, mother-of-six Antonia Tully, gave a presentation to the meeting showing the images in the DVD.

“This cartoon teaches children as young as eight how to perform the sex act,” she pointed out.

“Many at this age still believe in Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy. But this DVD is priming them for sex.

“Such explicit sex education facilitates sex and abortion as a ‘safety net’ when they’re teenagers.”

The 1996 Education Act says formal sex education is not mandatory in primary schools, she pointed out. It was “the job of parents—not the classroom teacher.”

Last night’s meeting follows a petition by 256 parents at Clara Grant Primary in Bromley-by-Bow, objecting to sex education in the classroom.

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 21:10
Tower Hamlets Town Hall and (inset) Mayor Biggs

The launch of the controversial new Jack the Ripper museum opening near the Tower of London on Tuesday is being boycotted by the Mayor of Tower Hamlets because he says his local authority was “misled” in the original planning application.

Yesterday, 17:14
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt lands at Whitechapel [photos: Nigel Pacquette]

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has paid a ‘flying visit’ in the London Air Ambulance helicopter today to meet the NHS trauma team and some of the patients whose lives they’ve saved.

Yesterday, 10:45
Pupils at St Paul's Whitechapel thrilled at growing their own food

Children have turned their outdoor space at school into an ‘edible playground’ in London’s East End where they grow their own food.

Yesterday, 09:08
Bethnal Green pupils 'tweet' picture of Boris shopping at their school farm stall

Boris Johnson took time off to do a spot of fresh food shopping at a market stall run by pupils from Bethnal Green Academy in east London.

Most read news

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Docklands and East London Advertiser e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder