A group of people got together in Brussels over the weekend to say they didn’t like the way sex education is taught in Belgian schools. Here is a list of what is going on:
Sex Education in Belgian Schools: The Scene of the Protests in Brussels
On Saturday, dozens of protesters took to the streets of Brussels, screaming things like “don’t touch our children.” Their biggest worry? Schools are starting to teach about sexuality, especially in the French-speaking part of Belgium.
Sex Education in Belgian Schools: What’s all the fuss about?
The French-speaking government chose to give two age groups a two-hour sex education course once a year. The goal was to answer the kids’ questions about touchy issues. But this move caused a lot of trouble.
Sex Education in Belgian Schools: Who is making a fuss?
There is anger not only in the streets, but also on social media. Extremely conservative groups, such as Islamic associations and Civitas, a far-right party made up mostly of very traditional Catholics, have been fighting these classes.
Sex Education in Belgian Schools: Fires and Looks into It
When fires broke out in four schools in the middle of September, things got very bad. The Belgian courts are now looking into these events as possible “arson.” It looks like people who are against the sex education classes are going to great lengths to be heard.
Parents’ Point of View
One protester, Mr. Gregory Bourguignon, said that talking about sexuality with kids should be something that only the family does. He said, “It’s up to parents to talk about sexuality, not the state.”
What You Need to Know About the Course
The controversial course, which was created by Caroline Desir, the French-speaking Minister of Education, includes a two-hour talk by a qualified outside speaker. It’s meant for two groups: sixth-year elementary school kids (ages 11 to 12) and fourth-year high school students (ages 15 to 16).
Having to Do Since 2012
The course has been required since 2012, but it hasn’t always been offered because of a lack of resources. Minister Desir says the goal is to “reassure students about the questions they ask themselves as teenagers” and to “protect them from situations that could be dangerous or problematic.”
Why do you want to sex Ed?
There were problems like “sexism, sexual violence, and gender stereotypes” that Minister Desir said the course was necessary to deal with. The goal is to teach them things that could be very useful when they are teenagers.
Past Attempts to Protest
This is not the first time that critics have spoken out. The first protest on September 17 did not stop the final acceptance of the text by the French-speaking part of Belgium.
On the whole, there are different ideas on the streets of Brussels about how schools should teach kids about touchy subjects. Parents and the government are still arguing about this problem, which makes me wonder what the right balance is between the government’s role and parents’ role in shaping their children’s education.