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Warwickshire Council: going off the rails

Warning, this article contains explicit sexual references.

Ruth Woodcraft

Warwickshire County Council (WCC) refused to answer questions from en in October about their primary school sex education curriculum, which (according to Warwickshire’s own published advice) could result in safeguarding problems.

After numerous complaints, the council said it was reviewing some information on its ‘Respect Yourself’ website. As en went to press, this seems to have been extended to the widely-criticised primary curriculum ‘All About Me’ (AAM). These lessons contain explicit teaching on ‘self-stimulation’ and penetrative sex to children as young as five.1

Hiding abuse?

WCC note, in their own safeguarding guidance, that ‘masturbation in public’ and ‘sexualised language and play’ are ‘unusual behaviours which may be a cause for concern’.2 Yet AAM teaches all children the language of sex and that self-touching is ‘really very normal.’ This in turn could sadly result in a child hiding signs of abuse. A child who may have masturbated in public may subsequently follow the advice of their teacher, and just do it at home, thus driving the problem underground. If every young child knows about sex, then the abused child may be overlooked if children ‘act out’ sex at playtime, as they try to grapple with a subject that they haven’t learnt about from their parents.

PIE aims finally achieved?

Some of the language and ideas of 1980s paedophiles seem very similar to that adopted by advocates of ‘sex positive’ education like the AAM curriculum, which has now been published on the aptly titled website, ‘Going Off the Rails.’3 In 1983, a BBC interview with members of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE),4 focused on ‘consent’, a buzz word in all sex education documents. PIE was keen to lower the legal age for sex to 13. They were supported in the 1970s by gay rights activists, who then shunned them when the nation’s liberty groups and politicians realised the implication of being seen to support men wanting to have sex with children aged 13.

PIE wanted children to be viewed as capable of making autonomous sexual choices away from adult influences. One said: ‘Sex is not a shocking experience. Not if children are properly educated. It is an obligation on society that children are given a far more comprehensive education from a far earlier age.’ The age when such an education was to start was apparently four. Today the language of ‘consent’ from PIE members5 (which was deemed immoral in the ‘80s), has crept into the nation’s syntax and classrooms. We really have gone off the rails.

1. Year 1, lesson 1.9 naming body parts to include the ‘pleasurable bits of female anatomy’; 1.17 pene-trative sex (optional unit) goes beyond the facts and uses the language of technique. Year 2, lesson 2.19 children are asked to consider if a child touching themselves in the bath ‘because it feels nice’ is safe or not and the advice that mastur-bation should only be done ‘in private’.
2. www.safeguardingwarwickshire.co.uk/images/downloads/wscb/posters-and-leaflets/Worried_about_Child_A3_Poster_2019.pdf
3. www.goingofftherails.co.uk/training/respect-your-self-training/
4. www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26352378
5. Tom O’Connell, a founder member of PIE, still writes openly on a wordpress page about lowering the age of consent to 12 and has commented on Twitter about the sexual appeal of trans children. He appears to avoid prosecution by not advocating sex with children due to the current law. He states his own attraction (he says is that of a ‘MAP’ Minor Attracted Person) is to pre-pubescent children.