A controversial school census being given to primary school students in Scotland is being justified and defended by members of the Scottish government from the Scottish National Party, which holds a ruling majority over the parliament.
Rebel News reported in December that Scotland’s SNP government is being slammed for an “inappropriate and intrusive” sex questionnaire for students as young as 14, which asks children if they have experienced “oral sex,” and “vaginal or anal sex.”
Hannah Bardell, a Member of Parliament and SNP consular affairs spokeswoman, justified the lurid sex survey by claiming that “these were questions I was asked” when she went to school decades ago.
Bardell explained that despite the backlash to the so-called “health and wellbeing survey,” the government will not pull it from schools. Ten out of Scotland’s 32 councils are now in open revolt over the survey, and have publicly stated that they will not run the census that has upset thousands of Scottish parents and their elected officials since the concerns were initially revealed by the Scottish Daily Express.
Three other councils are reportedly changing the questions, and a further 11 are still weighing their options.
Out of all the councils, five of the eight local authorities to proceed with the survey as planned are led by the SNP, including Glasgow, Stirling, South Ayrshire, Clackmannanshire and Dundee.
The Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland, Bruce Adamson, wants the survey paused.
“We are concerned that the survey collects the pupil's Scottish Candidate Number and young people need to be made aware that this may allow them to be identified,” said Adamson, per the BBC.
“Young people should have their rights clearly communicated to them in advance, including the key information that their participation is not compulsory,” he said. “Young people and their families need to be involved in the design and delivery of such information gathering.”
Explaining the decision to go ahead with the survey, Bardell said that the details within the questionnaire reflect the experiences of modern-day teenagers.
“These were questions that I was asked as a teenager when I was at school,” said the MP on the BBC’s Politics Live when asked about the survey. “You know, I didn't face anything like the challenges that young people face now in terms of the levels of online pornography, online harms.”
According to Bardell, the aim of the survey is to support young people.
In addition, she cited poor education on sex and relationships as a contributing factor for misogyny. She blamed the lack of education on the matter for violence against women, and said that understanding the sexual activity of teenagers will provide the government with data to tackle the issue.
The SNP politician condemned what she called a “pre-devolution” of sex education, noting that the government has a “duty and a moral duty to young people to make sure we do right for them.”
“Young people don't have to answer these questions if they don't want to. I think it is regrettable that a number of councils have pulled this,” she said.