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TD says “bestiality, violence and torture” in sexually explicit books on English curriculum for secondary schools

Some of the books and films on the prescribed list for the English curriculum in secondary schools contain “explicit graphic sexual content including sex between older adults and minors, bestiality and violence including torture.” 

That’s according to former Minister of State in the Department of Education, Willie O’Dea who has submitted a question to the Minister for Education, Norma Foley, on the matter.

The Limerick TD said he wanted to ask if Minister Foley’s attention had been drawn to the fact that “many of the texts and films on the NCCA on the prescribed list for the English curriculum in secondary schools”  contained content parents believed to be inappropriate .

He added that some of the material focused “on death in a macabre gratuitous way.”

Deputy O’Dea sought the views of the Minister on “whether it would be appropriate to remove these texts from the curriculum”. He said that “several items on the list [of books and films] have been previously banned from the curriculum in the UK and the USA.

It’s understood that parents have recently raised concerns about additions to the English curriculum by the National Council for Curriculum & Assessment of new texts with adult themes.

They include books on the Junior cycle such as The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly which one parent described as containing “horrific scenes of bondage and torture” and “promoting bestiality”, while also featuring incest and paedophilia.

A parent’s review site said the book contained scenes of human dismemberment and gruesome killings, and passages suggesting sexual abuse and exploitation of minors and children, giving this example: “a bedchamber contained a naked woman and a naked man and the Crooked man would bring children to them…..and the man and the woman would whisper things to them in the darkness of their chamber, telling them things that children should not know, dark tales of what adults did together in the depths of the night”.

In response, Minister Foley said that there was a number of prescribed texts for Junior Cycle and Leaving Certificate English. “The decision on which particular text to use rests with the school itself. They can choose whichever text best suits the context of their teaching and their students,” she said.


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