Councillor received threats over Welsh sex education curriculum support
A Welsh councillor says she has been threatened – and even called a ‘paedo lover’ – over her support for new Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) teaching in Wales.
Gwynedd Plaid Cymru councillor Beca Brown says she has been abused online and called a “paedo lover”.
The Welsh government policy is a mandatory element of the Curriculum for Wales Framework, and is the statutory guidance for headteachers, governing bodies and LEAs.
The response to the sex education changes became heated in Gwynedd earlier this year, after police were called to a council meeting on the subject.
The public gallery was cleared by police and councillors were held back in the Gwynedd Council chamber for ‘safety reasons’ at the end of the highly charged meeting on Thursday, August 25.
The meeting came as some parents threatened to withdraw their children from schools amid a campaign by the Public Child Protection Wales group (PCPW).
A graphic leaflet distributed by the group alleged that the curriculum could introduce young children to ideas such as “self-stimulation, masturbation, bondage and anal sex”.
But a Welsh Government spokesperson described the leaflet as “full of misinformation and unevidenced, incorrect claims”, and said children would “only learn topics that are appropriate to their age and development”.
“There’s been a lot of negative public response, but privately, many people have been supportive,” Cllr Brown told Newyddion S4C.
“We’ve been called – some of us [councillors]- paedophiles. I’ve been called a ‘paedo lover’.
“I’ve been threatened, too. Someone said I’d put a rope around my own neck by supporting the code. Someone else said I deserved the death penalty.”
She went on to say: “The police have been here to talk to me about safety measures – what I can do to keep myself and my home safe.
“That wasn’t something I’d expected when I took charge of the council’s education portfolio.”
Welsh Conservative Shadow Local Government Minister, Sam Rowlands MS said: “The abuse received by local elected representatives is abhorrent. I have raised this in the Senedd chamber and it is clear to me that there still is not enough being done to protect councillors’ safety.
“Welsh Conservatives stand wholeheartedly with parents and their right to choose what their own children are taught, with the option to opt-out of RSE lessons if they feel they are not age appropriate.
“Others will have differing views and have the right to air them without the fear of abuse or threats. The Labour Government, while respecting the legitimate concerns of parents, need to do far more to support councillors in their plight to stand up for and represent their local communities.”
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