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Students as young as 12 to study sexualised content as part of $572 million family violence package

Victoria’s Education Minister says it would be naive for parents to think their children aren’t already exposed to sexualised content by the time they’ve reached high school.

It follows backlash from angry parents after it was revealed students as young as 12 will be studying sexualised personal ads as part of a new Victorian school curriculum.

It’s part of the Building Respectful Relationships program included in the $572 million package to combat family violence announced this week by the Andrews Government.

Education Minister James Merlino told Tony Jones he could understand why some people might hold concerns about ‘exposing’ young children to sexualised content, but that prevention was key to stopping the scourge of family violence.

‘We’ve got to have these conversations with kids,’ he said on 3AW Mornings.

‘If we really want to tackle this scourge, and tackle it over a generation then we need to engage with our kids at school.

‘We can’t as a society, stick our heads in the sand and think our kids aren’t exposed to this.’

Click PLAY below to hear more from James Merlino on 3AW

Public Education Foundation director Jane Caro has also criticised the moral panic, saying times have changed.

‘If we think kids at 13 or 14 haven’t seen things online that would turn our hair white, then we’re really living in a delusional universe,’ she said.

But 3AW has been flooded with calls from furious parents, who said there was no need for children to be exposed to that content so early.

Christine – ‘I’m just so horrified and shocked at what I just heard. They’re children.’

Brad – ‘What’s wrong with a bit of innocence for kids?’

Tony Jones, filling in for Neil Mitchell, said the program had a lot of merit but that he’d be ‘filthy’ if his children were subject to the content at 12 or 13.

Click PLAY below to hear more on 3AW Mornings