Parliament to go ahead with new child protection bill
The Sejm, lower house of the Polish parliament has supported further work on a new citizens’ bill which the authors say is designed "to prevent the sexualisation of children'."
On Friday night, the Sejm, in a 242-207 vote and one abstention, scrapped the opposition parties' motion to reject the draft amendment to the Education Law dubbed "Let's protect children."
The bill will now go to the Sejm's Education, Science and Youth Committee.
Endorsed by Sejm Speaker Elżbieta Witek, the citizens' draft legislation, dubbed "Let's protect children" was registered in parliament in April.
The authors of the bill had to collect the 100,000 signatures required for the draft legislation to enter parliament for consideration. Within three months, 250 000 people signed under the proposal.
The bill's authors said that "it aims to strengthen the position of parents in opposing undesirable content addressed to their children by associations or other organisations operating, among others, in schools."
The draft provides for the exclusion of various institutions that want to "promote issues related to the sexualisation of children" in kindergartens and primary schools. It says that "elements of sexual education of children and youth should be taught by qualified teaching staff, without the involvement of external entities."
Earlier on Friday, the first reading of the citizens' bill, supported by the caucuses of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) as well as Confederation and Kukiz 15 parties, took place.
Three opposition caucuses, Civic Platform (KO), Poland 2050 and the Left, submitted a motion to reject the draft law amending the Education Law in the first reading.
According to MP Katarzyna Lubnauer from KO, reliable sex education is "the best way to prevent the risk of sexualisation of children."
MP Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk from the Left argued that passing of the bill "would mean depriving young people of a chance to obtain reliable knowledge about health and safety, not provided by the formal education system."
But a PiS MP Mirosława Stachowiak-Różecka said that only teachers can teach children at school, not educators.
MP Grzegorz Braun from Confederation declared that his grouping supports this bill. "We don't want deviants, promoters of deviance, ostentatious, professional sodomites to teach our children tolerance," he said.
Education Minister Przemyslaw Czarnek thanked 250,000 people who "want to protect their children and want an unequivocal ban on the demoralisation and depravity of children."
Responding to the allegations of opposition MPs that the draft law aims to limit sex education in schools, he said that "sex education in Polish schools is and will be taught because it is needed... but the school is the workplace of teachers."
In Czarnek's opinion, the problem is that various organisations "want to sexualise, deprave, distort the consciences and minds of these little children and young men."