Porn in schools: 300,000 searches blocked in four weeks

A big challenge schools and parents are facing is how easily accessible pornographic material is...
A big challenge schools and parents are facing is how easily accessible pornographic material is online. Photo: Getty
The Ministry of Education says in a one-month period 300,000 searches for pornographic material were blocked on school networks.

Ministry representatives appeared before the Education and Workforce select committee this morning to discuss a petition calling for better, more inclusive sex education.

Associate deputy secretary Pauline Cleaver said the ministry is working on a plan to give teachers more skills and tools to manage more sensitive issues, such as consent, sexual violence, and the harmful impact of pornography.

She said a big challenge schools and parents are facing is how easily accessible pornographic material is online.

"We've heard from parents and young people too about the increased curiosity of young people, at increasingly young ages.

"We know that school sites are blocking, but we know in a one-month period 300,000 searches were blocked on our school network," she said.

Ms Cleaver said this shows that safeguards in the school environment are working.

"But it means that we have to have communities, parents, whānau, and teachers feeling confident and skilful enough to have conversations about the harmful effects of pornography", she said.

Ms Cleaver said pornography is not just an "in-school" issue, but a broader societal challenge.

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