Following controversy over the degree and content of sexual education in primary schools, a cross-party committee has launched a people’s initiative on the issue.
The campaign, under the slogan “Protection against sexualisation in kindergarten and primary school”, has until October 2013 to collect 100,000 signatures, which would force a nationwide vote on the issue.
Spearheaded by the rightwing Swiss People’s Party, the campaign also has support from centre-right Christian Democrat and Radical parliamentarians.
A Basel-based parents’ group which helped drive the controversy over the current sexual education programme is also represented on the committee. The group particularly objects to the use of teaching aids for children, which include plush- or soft-toy models of the sexual organs.
The text of the initiative argues that sexual education is the responsibility of parents and that the topic should not be introduced in school before the age of nine.
However it does allow for “stay safe” information to be taught to children in kindergarten to prevent child abuse, as long as it does not include the mechanics of sexual acts.
The initiative calls for obligatory classes on sexual reproduction only to be introduced after the age of 12 within the framework of biology class.
swissinfo.ch and agencies