Warsaw, Poland, Oct 16, 2019 / 12:00 pm
The governing party in the Polish parliament has introduced a bill that could criminalize some forms of sex education in schools.
The Law and Justice Party (PiS), which won a majority in the country's recent elections, is supporting a "Stop Pedophilia" law in the Sejm, the lower house of the country's parliament. The law would criminalize the "promotion of underage sexual activity" by folding it under existing treatment of other crimes against minors.
Currently, Polish schools do not offer formal sex education but, according to Reuters, are charged with providing courses aimed at helping students "prepare for family life." How the courses are organized and administered differs between local authorities.
Opposition MPs have said that the bill leaves sex education teaching open to possible penalities including up to five years in prison for potentially encouraging sexual acitivty among children. MP and Now! Party member Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus told Reuters that the bill was a "gesture towards ultra-Catholics and the Church," and accused the government of promoting a false narrative of "culture and civilizational war" in the country.