Parental demand for sex education classes grows amid concern about sexting
CONCERNS over cyber bullying and sexting have sparked a Parliamentary inquiry into whether sex education in Queensland schools does enough to help teens navigate the digital world, the Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said today.
"Parental demand for sex education classes and growing concerns expressed to me about the dangers and prevalence of sexting have helped spark the inquiry into sex education in our schools," she said.
"I raised concerns with the Education Minister Kate Jones with respect of sexting, so I'm pleased the Minister has decided to initiate this inquiry!
"I'm very pleased the Palaszczuk Government has announced a Parliamentary inquiry to examine whether sex education in Queensland schools does enough to help teens navigate the modern, digital world.
"I've been acutely aware about concerning trends that have emerged in our schools, and in my electorate, concerning greater access to digital technology.
"This inquiry will examine how we as a government, and as a community, can better support our students to make safer and healthier choices that have long-lasting impacts on their wellbeing and life outcomes."
Mrs Lauga said school-based sex education needed to be supported by evidence that the programs worked.
"Unlike NSW, Victoria and South Australia, Queensland state schools are not required to offer sex-ed lessons to students.
'Rather, that decision is left to the principal, who discusses the matter with the P&C and school community."
She said only about one-third of schools offer comprehensive sex education, one-third don't offer any sex education at all, and the remaining third offered haphazard programs.
"A Galaxy poll this month for The Courier-Mail found 84 per cent of parents believe all Queensland state schools should be required to offer sex education, while only 8 per cent believe it should be a discretionary subject."
Mrs Lauga said the parliamentary inquiry was welcomed by P&C Queensland president Gayle Walters who said it was essential that parents and schools begin talking about issues such as sexting and the impact of digital devices on young people.
"(The inquiry) means we, as parents, get to have a stronger voice in making sure these decisions are the best for our students and our community," Ms Walters said.