A primary school has shown its young pupils a sex education video which was deemed so steamy it was removed from sale after a government minister intervened. The Living and Growing DVD – branded ‘cartoon porn’ – has caused uproar around the UK crochet children’s education its graphic sex scenes using cartoon couples. In one scene a naked cartoon couple chase each other around a bedroom with a feather before having sex, and include an animated scene of ejaculation. The films include a section aimed at children as young as five, asking them to name the body parts on a drawing of a naked man and woman.
It has received such strong criticism from parents and even government minister Nick Gibbs that the Channel 4-produced DVD was removed from sale. But Westbury Leigh Primary School in Wiltshire, which bought it before it was withdrawn, has decided to show the film to its pupils. The decision has prompted furious Keith Miller, a governor at the school for 12 years, to quit his role. Mr Miller, 75, said: ‘Sex education in schools is essential and I am not against it.
But the important thing is the way it is done, and this film was showing far too much to children at far too young an age. I wanted to see it for myself after hearing about the content, which I could have done, but was told I couldn’t go along to a showing of the film to parents, which seemed very wrong to me. Unfortunately I missed the session where the rest of the governors watched the tape, which is why I wanted to see it with the parents, so I could talk to them about it. Since they said no, I had to find out about the content of the film myself, being shown in a school where I was governor. There’s something very wrong about that.
All the other governors approved of it being shown and it was suggested I might like to abstain when we voted, but I objected and they went ahead anyway. The film is too much, too soon. Parents at the primary school have also hit out at its decision to show the film, with some refusing to let their kids watch it. Shocked mum Hayley Robinson, 44, refused to let ten-year-old son Benjamin watch it, describing it as ‘porn’. She said: ‘In general I thought the film was age appropriate where it showed how children’s bodies change as they grow older. But other parts parts concerned me. I felt it was inappropriate for such young children and amounted to showing them porn, so I said I didn’t want my son to see it.
I was one of the very few people who made it to the viewing, and I think other parents should be aware of what is being shown to their children so they can make their own choice. Despite being withdrawn from sale, Wiltshire Council has defended Westbury’s Leigh’s decision to show it. A spokesperson said: ‘We don’t recommend resources to schools but do share details of those that are available. Individual schools select the resources that they feel best meet the needs of the pupils. Influential politicians, parents and right-wing religious groups were blamed for the decision to remove the film from the shelves last month.
But fellow governor Jonathan Burke, who is also a rector with the White Horse Team Ministry, said Mr Miller was the only person to vote against showing the film. He said: ‘We all thought hard about it, but in the end we felt it was appropriate material for those age groups. We took advice from the Salisbury diocese on it and they recognised the film as a useful resource, and parents have the option to opt out should they wish to. As with all these things these decisions are frequently reviewed, but it was the opinion of the governors and the headteacher that this was the right thing to do.
One parent, whose daughter saw the video in another school, decided to take dramatic steps. Lisa Bullivant, from Legbourne, Lincolnshire, was so upset by the ‘graphic’ content, she took her daughter out of East Wold Primary School and placed her with another school in 2010. The man, known only as Hariom, strangled 32-year-old Luxmi to death while she slept in their flat in Gurgaon, a city near Delhi. The comments below have not been moderated.