‘Put pornography on the timetable’

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PUPILS should be given lessons on the dangers of pornography, a teachers’ union concerence was told.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) annual conference in Liverpool agreed to the call, which comes after a 15-year-old Hartlepool boy was jailed for raping a girl after viewing online filth.

The boy was caged after a judge heard how he spent several months in the run up to the sickening attack trawling the internet to view porn.

Teesside Crown Court heard that he and a friend bound and gagged the terrified girl, threatened her with a knife and put a plastic bag over her head during the attack.

Both boys were arrested, admitted charges of rape and false imprisonment and were given youth detention.

The conference heard that schools must ensure that pornography does not become seen as so normal that youngsters expect it to be part of everyday life and calls were made for teachers to be given training on how to deliver lessons on the dangers of pornography as part of sex and relationships (SRE) classes.

“We believe that members need more guidance on how to deal with the many consequences of pupils’ exposure to pornography,” teacher Helen Porter told delegates.

She added: “It is crucial that youngsters develop an understanding of sex in the media and pornography, so that they can recognise the abnormal nature of these sexual expectations and appreciate the dangers of accepting the values portrayed by the sexualised media.”

Research suggests that around nine in 10 eight to 16-year-olds have viewed pornography online, Ms Porter told the conference.

Delegates at the conference passed a resolution raising concerns about the effect of pornography on pupils, and backing Ms Porter’s call for teachers to be trained in giving age-appropriate lessons on the subject.