New sex education guidelines outlaw teaching about sexual minorities.
The guidelines, issued to schools and teachers this week state that “sex education is not intended to be an opportunity for teachers to share their views on sexuality” and “teaching about homosexuality is not permitted.” It also orders teachers to remove any references to LGBT issues from the curriculum and bans the use of words relating to certain sexualities.
In a move designed to better inform teachers of how to go about sex education and counter inaccuracies, the government appears to be attempting to remove all references to LGBT people and issues in schools across the whole of South Korea.
The changes have been widely criticised by LGBT activists across the country, who say it will alienate LGBT students, and encourage bullying.
Government officials say the move was due to pressure from conservative groups. An official from the department of student health policy said: “It is urgent that we create sex-ed standards that move away from abstinence education, but staunch opposition from conservative groups to the initial draft made it difficult to reach a compromise.
“Our plan is to publish the standards that are possible right now and to work to create a social consensus moving forward.”
Human rights activist Juri said: “Education about the human rights of sexual minorities is imperative, since many teenagers with alternate sexual orientations need reliable education and information.”
It is not the first time pressure from conservative groups has harmed LGBT rights in South Korea. A human rights charter that would have offered protections to LGBT people was scrapped after anti-gay protests.