1,000 signatures reached
To: Minister of Education, Hekia Parata
Better sex education in schools
We need better, more consistent sex education in secondary schools, focusing on making consent a compulsory part of our curriculum, as it is not currently, as well as teaching healthy relationships with LGBTQI+ inclusion. We're calling for Hekia Parata and any following ministers of education to commit to make consent and healthy relationships a compulsory part of the curriculum. To achieve this, we are suggesting that Mates and Dates, a healthy relationships course for secondary school students, is introduced into all high schools in New Zealand.
Why is this important?
1 in 3 girls experience sexual assault before the age of 16. The same goes for 1 in 7 of boys. Many of us teenagers, still in high school, have experienced sexual harassment, sometimes within school environments. We're scared, we assume that this will be a part of our lives, and it doesn't come as a surprise when we're catcalled or people make jokes about rape. We don't want to live in a world where rape culture is normal anymore.
People protesting rape culture outside parliament in Wellington last Monday called for better education of consent and sex education in schools. Hekia Parata responded to this in a recent RadioNZ article, saying that they are ruling out introducing compulsory education around sexual consent in high schools and "the subject is best addressed in a family setting." We think this is unacceptable, and that the chance of someone missing the vital lesson of consent is too high with this approach.
In light of recent events at Wellington schools, and the general rape culture that is ingrained in our society, we believe as young people that a change needs to be made now. We believe addressing the issue in schools is an important first step. These are issues that LGBTQI+ people are often excluded from. However, they are heavily affected by rape culture and so we think it is important to include them in how these issues are addressed.
The article with Hekia Parata's statment: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/326678/wellington-college-students-suspended-for-rape-comments
An article on the protest outside parliament: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/326507/'we-will-not-put-up-with-rape-culture-any-longer'
An informative video about Mates and Dates: http://www.acc.co.nz/about-acc/videos/index.htm?mediaID=WPC139081