SCHOOLS TELLING KIDS TO HAVE ILLEGAL SEX; Teachers Say Age of Consent Is 16.. but the Law Says It's 17
Byline: ELAINE EDWARDS
SCHOOLS have been telling teenagers they can have sex at 16 instead of 17 because of a blunder by education chiefs.
Guidelines issued to teachers on the controversial Relationship and Sexuality Education programme wrongly state that the legal age of consent for heterosexual sex is 16.
It has emerged that the blunder has gone unnoticed for FIVE years.
A Garda spokesman said: "The law is clear about the age of consent, which is 17 years of age. Anyone having sex under that age is committing an offence."
Under the law, sex with girls under 17 carries a maximum penalty of five years jail and 10 years for a second offence.
Teachers now fear being confronted by angry parents or the possibility of legal action.
Many parents were incensed by the introduction of the controversial RSE programme and voiced their opposition to sex education classes.
One teacher from Kildare said: "This blunder means that we have miseducated a whole generation of young Irish people into having underage sex.
"We have taught them to break the law."
Education Minister Michael Woods' department is now seeking urgent legal advice after the mistake was revealed. …