French schools battle boycott after hoax text messages warn of 'masturbation classes'

Almost half the pupils from some French primary schools were absent from class after the text messages were sent

French schools are battling a boycott after hoax text messages were sent to parents warning that teachers were introducing “gender theory” classes and planned to teach children as young as four how to masturbate.

Almost half the pupils from some French primary schools were absent from class after the text messages, which were allegedly sent by 'Equality and Reconciliation', an association with links to the far-Right, were widely circulated.

The group claims the campaign, which is thought to be connected to acquaintances of the far-right essayist Alain Soral - famous for his anti-feminist and anti-gay marriage views, was created to “protect children's intimacy and integrity”.

According to The Local, quoting reports in the French daily Libération, last week parents were sent text messages warning them to keep their children at home on Friday or Monday as a protest against the schools teaching gender theory, sex education and masturbation.

Another report from French news outlet Est Republicain claimed a text message read: “Sex education will be provided in nursery schools in September 2014, with demonstrations.” According to the reports another read: “Now they are talking about teaching children aged four, how to masturbate.”

“The state is going to teach our children that they were not born a boy or a girl like God wanted, but they are whatever they choose to become. With gay and lesbian speakers who will fill their heads with monstrous ideas,” read part of another text.

The call to boycott classes was mostly responded to by Muslim parents The Telegraph reported stating that in areas with large immigrant populations up to 40 per cent of pupils stayed away.

Anti-gay marriage campaigners appear to have latched onto a government initiative called the “ABCD of equality in school”.

The Local reports that campaigner Farida Belghoul, who is allegedly behind some of the protests, has suggested that the initiative, which aims to teach equality and respect, has a hidden ideological agenda.

The origin of the masturbation class rumours would appear also to be right-wing websites.

They suggest that the French government has adopted a World Health Organisation report that they spuriously claim encourages child masturbation.

The recommendations of the report, which was published in 2010, have no legislative power in France regardless.

The French Ministry of Education told Est Republicain that the rumours were 'unfounded and slanderous' and that the ABCD of equality was aimed at promoting equality and diversity in schools.

“Parents should have no fear about putting their children into public school,” a spokesman said.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world