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Sixth class students told “ask Grandad if he still gets an erection”

A primary school in Limerick has dropped an external educator brought in to run sex and relationships education after children of 12 were advised to “ask their Grandfather if he still gets an erection”, Gript can reveal.

The school, a mixed school under Catholic patronage in Limerick City, had brought in the external educator – a woman in her 60’s – to conduct a module in relationships and sexuality education. According to the HSE, such education at Primary level “provides information on the physical and emotional changes that children may experience during puberty, to reassure them that puberty is a normal part of growing up.”

During a discussion about puberty – conducted over zoom, and within earshot of parents – the person conducting the class, in the course of talking the children through erections, suggested that they ask their Grandfathers if they still get an erection.

A parent listening swiftly made a complaint. In an email seen by Gript.ie, sent to the school’s principal, the parent said that the comment was “absolutely disgusting and disturbing and in no way acceptable. I have spoken to some of the parents of the other children and they have raised the same concerns”.

In reply, the school principal apologised, and said that the educator had come highly recommended, but after “taking your own opinion, and my own observations on board, will be using an alternative speaker going forward”.

The parent told Gript that they were satisfied with the school’s response, and considered the matter closed. However, they wanted to highlight to other parents the importance of “vigilance” when it comes to the teaching of sensitive matters.

Gript has decided not to name the school, in view of the fact that the educator in question will no longer be providing sex education, and in consideration of the risk that online aggression can pose to teachers and staff.

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