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Class material which invited students to discuss "homophobic" statements removed

Class material which invited students to discuss "homophobic" statements removed

The Department of Education has removed official class material which invited students to discuss "homophobic" statements.

The exercise asked junior cycle students to discuss statements such as "all gays are HIV positive" and "all gays molest children" as part of SPHE class.

In another one of the exercises students were asked to decide whether they agreed or disagreed on a number of statements including "All lesbians are butch" and "you can change from being homosexual".

The issue was brought to the attention of Fine Gael TD Jennifer Caroll MacNeill who wrote to the Minister of Education Norma Foley.

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Deputy Carroll MacNeill says the material has been removed but she's disgusted it was available in the first place:

"Can you imagine being a 14 or 15-year-old person asking questions about yourself and your sexuality, not sure where you fit in, not sure where you are?."

"Imagine being an LGBTQ+ teacher and having that content and I'm saying teachers used this content, but it was available to be used."

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment said homophobic resources were removed from the official SPHE site as they "do not reflect the inclusive standards the education sector upholds".

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ShoutOut delivers LGBTQ+ educational workshops for students.

Its development manager Aifric Nรญ Chrรญodรกin says even if the exercise was used, many students would reject it:

"I do think that students are ahead of their elders on this, they're ahead of their parents, they're ahead of their teachers and we try to empower them in our workshops by having a dialogue with their school leadership about how their school could be more inclusive."

Photo byย 42 Northย fromย Pexels

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