WARNING: Graphic content
A Queensland primary school has provided students as young as six with a letter containing graphic descriptions of numerous types of sex and sexual acts, news.com.au reported.
An outraged parent of a year one student at Ipswich West State School in Queensland said he and his wife were "absolutely mortified" to read the "safer sex" tips in the note that was sent home with students on Friday.
"What type of school thinks this is OK?" the father, who asked to remain anonymous, said in an email.
The health warning, signed by the principal, advises parents and carers that molluscum contagiosum has been detected in the school and includes a fact sheet from Queensland Health.
Molluscum contagiosum is a harmless infection that causes small raised spots on the skin. While it is more common among children, it can spread among adults through sexual contact — the main focus of the Queensland Health fact sheet.
Under the heading "prevention", students are advised that they "should not have sex with someone who has a visible lump or sore on or near the genitals".
"Genital lumps or sores could be due to molluscum contagiosum or some other sexually transmissible infection such as herpes, genital warts or syphilis. If a sexual partner has a genital lump or ulcer, advise that person to have a sexual health check," it says.
"Practise safer sex. Always using condoms with water-based lubricant when you have vaginal or anal sex is the best way to avoid getting an STI. The water-based lubricants reduce the risk of the condom breaking. Oil-based lubricants should not be used as they weaken the condom and may cause it to break. If you are giving a man oral sex, then he should wear a condom. It does not matter whether you are male or female, if you put your mouth in contact with your partner's [genitals], you should use a dental dam."
The father said he and his wife were "just glad" their son "didn't read it".
"But what type of education system/staff do we have in this state that thought it was fine (signed off by the principal) to hand primary school children a letter which describes sexual intercourse and fellatio?" he said.
"In a day and age where it is hard enough to protect our kids from unlimited/unfiltered information online its disappointing that his first exposure to such a topic almost came from his school in grade one."
The Department of Education has apologised for the "administrative error". "The safety and wellbeing of students and staff is the highest priority of the Department of Education," a spokeswoman said in a statement.
"This week, following medical advice, Ipswich West State School issued a health notice to all parents and carers on a condition called molluscum contagiosum. An administrative error resulted in an incorrect fact sheet accompanying the notice."
She added, "The school apologises for any distress that may have been caused by the provision of information that is not considered age-appropriate. The school is communicating with parents and is working to provide more age-appropriate information. Parents concerned about the health of their child are encouraged to seek medical advice."