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South Korea schools banned from teaching about homosexuality

South Korea schools banned from teaching about homosexuality

South Korea has banned schools from teaching about homosexuality in the conservative country’s first guidelines on sex education.

Training materials, issued to education offices in every city and province on 29 March, stated that ‘teaching about homosexuality is not permitted.’

‘Sex education is not intended to be an opportunity for teachers to share their views on sexuality,’ it added.

The document also forbids the use of terms for non-heteroxual orientations and orders schools to remove LGBTI-related information from their current curriculums.

The guidelines have been criticized by human rights activists for failing LGBTI students who are often bullied at school. A 2014 Law and Policy Research Group for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity survey found that 45.7% of LGBTI South Koreans under the age of 18 had attempted suicide.

‘It is urgent that we create sex-ed standards that move away from abstinence education, but staunch opposition from conservative groups to the initial draft made it difficult to reach a compromise,’ an official at the Ministry of Health told the Hankyoreh newspaper.

A draft of the standards that was released in April last year that included references to homosexuality. But it met with a fierce backlash from the Korean Association of Church Communication and other Christian groups, that warned that homosexuality had dangerous effects on society.

‘Our plan is to publish the standards that are possible right now and to work to create a social consensus moving forward,’ the official said.