As loved-up couples and hopeful singles mark the most romantic day of the year, MPs have been flooded with over 400 Valentine’s Day cards from LGBT students and supporters of Terrence Higgins Trust.
Instead of romantic musings though, these ‘secret admirers’ are asking for MPs to back mandatory Sex and Relationships Education in every school.
Working together with the Terrence Higgins Trust, National Student Pride and NUS LGBT+, the campaign aims to end the silence on Sex and Relationships Education (SRE).
MPs including Jeremy Corbyn, Iain Duncan-Smith, Chuka Umunna and Education Secretary Justine Greening, have been on the receiving end of these hand-made Valentine’s cards.
Charlie Mathers a 20 year-old student at Westminster University, said his sex SRE education was nearly no existent: “My SRE was the stereotypical split up of boys and girls, where we all watched the same video of how babies were made. There was also an awkward picture book. That was it.
“I think that fear comes from not understanding, so inclusive sex and relationships education could help with prevent things like homophobia. My life would have been better with more SRE.”
According to a recent report by Terrence Higgins Trust, almost all (95%) young people were not taught about LGBT relationships, while - scarily - 75% were not even taught about consent.
But young people do want to be taught about SRE, as the report also found that 99% think it should be compulsory in every school.
In response to this, students from universities and colleges across the country worked with the charities for a series of card-making sessions last week. Each of the Valentine’s cards carries a rainbow heart, and a personalised message about SRE, ranging from the hilarious to the heart-breaking.
The campaign comes as Years & Years singer frontman Olly Alexander prepares as part of Attitude’s Sex and Relationships Education Panel at National Student Pride in London later this month (24-26 Feb).
The chart-topping singer will tackle issue of same-sex-inclusive sex and relationship education in London on Saturday
25 February as part of the #LetsTalkAboutSex theme
of this year’s Student Pride.
Jamie Wareham, Communications Director at National Student Pride, said: “This month, MPs have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make SRE mandatory in every school in the country. If these cards can persuade MPs to vote for mandatory SRE to be included in the Children and Social Work Bill, this could transform the experiences of young people everywhere, as they grow up and navigate their own sexuality.”
Now in its 13th year, National Student Pride began at Oxford Brookes University in 2005, in response to a Christian Union talk on homosexuality and the Bible.
A full weekend of events is planned in London over the weekend of 24-26 February
, and you can find out more details and get your hands on tickets for just £5 here
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