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19 June, 2024
 
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Controversial conference sparks fierce debate on sex ed in schools

Critics and advocates clash over approaches and impact on children's well-being

Newsroom

A conference invitation circulating on social media for an upcoming event on sex education in schools has sparked reactions and criticisms. The conference, scheduled for Thursday, August 3, at the Melanos Centre in Chloraka, features titles like "We say NO to Holistic Compulsory Sex Education in Schools" and "We say NO to Laws that are contrary to the Bible and Orthodox Teaching." Internet users have expressed disapproval of the initiative, questioning the competence of the speakers to address such a sensitive issue. Among the speakers are a rheumatologist and an associate professor in secondary education at the Ministry of Education, as well as Metropolitan Tychikos of Paphos, MP Andreas Themistocleous, and lawyer Laris Vrahimis.

Former Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides was among those who condemned the conference. In a tweet, he sarcastically anticipated "plenty of laughs" and questioned the opponents' understanding of the subject matter. Petrides expressed concern that the conference implied leaving children vulnerable to harmful influences without proper education.

Leontes Philotheou also criticized the conference, noting that its organizers oppose sex education and even consider knowledge about sexuality to be akin to "prostitution" or "fornication." He expressed support for comprehensive sex education to tackle issues such as sexual abuse, homophobia, unwanted pregnancies, and sexually transmitted infections.

Lawyer Laris Vrahimis, responding to the criticisms on Facebook, defended the need for dialogue and civil society in addressing complex societal issues. He stated that citizens organizing themselves to discuss their concerns and worries, especially when related to their children's well-being, deserve support and respect. Vrahimis expressed his willingness to engage in dialogue and invited opposing views, emphasizing the importance of a respectful and argumentative exchange of ideas.

The upcoming conference has ignited a debate on the role of sex education in schools and the perspectives surrounding it. The discussions and reactions surrounding this event continue to unfold.

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Cyprus  |  sex  |  society  |  education

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