Edmund Rice Education Australia says its schools are committed to working with parents to address the issue of respectful relationships and sexual consent education. Source: The Age.
It comes as Victoria’s Education Minister James Merlino has called for a nationwide rollout of Victoria’s “Respectful Relationships” education in all schools in light of a public petition which has detailed hundreds of allegations of sexual assaults of school students across the country.
Chanel Contos, 22, launched the online petition a week ago calling for consent education to be taught at a younger age. By Saturday evening it ran to 70 pages, detailing hundreds of disturbing allegations of sexual assaults either while the victims were at school or soon after.
On Saturday, Edmund Rice Education Australia said the petition had pushed them to take action and signalled they would work with parents to address the issue.
EREA executive director Dr Craig Wattam said sexual consent education needs to be provided to students in early adolescence.
Peter Houlihan, principal of all-boys De La Salle College in Melbourne’s south-east, said his school was taking the petition extremely seriously and would speed up plans to formalise messages around sexual consent for students.
The Victorian Government runs its Respectful Relationships program in all government schools. It has offered the program to non-government schools and as of last year 227 Catholic schools and 56 independent schools had taken it up.
Education minister pushes for consent education in all schools nationwide (By Rachael Dexter and Melissa Cunningham, The Age)