ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa condemns the Luxon government’s plan to remove relationship and sexuality education (RSE) from school curricula.
In striking out RSE, the government ignores decades of evidence-based research carried out in Aotearoa and overseas.
In 2020, former New Zealand First MP and minister Tracey Martin initiated RSE. Current Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has reversed this policy, ostensibly because parents oppose the RSE curriculum.
ALRANZ rejects Peters’ premise. Parents who learn firsthand about what RSE is and what it includes overwhelmingly support it.
ALRANZ Secretary and former sexuality educator, Alma De Anda said, “I would attend parents’ nights and present the information on the curriculum in Aotearoa. I always knew parents were concerned about age/stage-appropriate information. When we had an honest discussion about the actual topics, parents never had an issue with the sexuality curriculum.”
ALRANZ supports educators, education researchers, and professionals who work to reduce sexual violence. They are all in agreement that comprehensive sexuality education is a protective factor against child sexual violence and unplanned pregnancies, and helps build a safer, more inclusive society.
Parents have a right to know what children learn, and a right to opt out of some topics for their children. They do not have a right to dictate what public schools teach based on personal views. We are calling on the government to support evidence-based, peer-reviewed educational best practices, and the protect the RSE curriculum in Aotearoa schools.