Sleeping Beauty teaches 'inappropriate behaviour', says mother calling for book to be banned from primary school

'It’s about saying is this still relevant, is it appropriate?'

Jack Shepherd
Thursday 23 November 2017 15:48
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A mother has made headlines after calling for Sleeping Beauty to be removed from her son’s primary school curriculum for its “inappropriate sexual” message.

Sarah Hall, from Northumberland Park, near Newcastle, says the fairytale teaches children that it’s OK to kiss a women while she’s asleep.

The mother-of-two realised the issue when reading a school book to her six-year old son, Ben, based on the traditional story.

"I think it's a specific issue in the Sleeping Beauty story about sexual behaviour and consent,” she told the Newcastle Chronicle. “It’s about saying is this still relevant, is it appropriate?”

The 40-year-old contacted Ben’s school asking for books featuring the story to be removed from the younger children’s classes and Tweeted about the offending book.

"In today's society, it isn't appropriate,” she added. “My son is only six, he absorbs everything he sees, and it isn't as if I can turn it into a constructive conversation.

"I don't think taking Sleeping Beauty books out of circulation completely would be right. I actually think it would be a great resource for older children, you could have a conversation around it, you could talk about consent, and how the Princess might feel."

“But I'm really concerned about it for younger children, would really welcome a conversation about whether this is suitable material.”

Hall also spoke about the ongoing #MeToo campaign against sexual assault, saying that without such coverage she may have not noticed the messages contained within the story.

"These are indicative of how ingrained that kind of behaviour is in society,” she said. “All these small things build up, and they make a difference."

Many people have taken issue with Hall's response to the story, one Tweeter replying to Hall: "I feel so sorry for the young children of today who are having adult perceptions forced on them. Let them be children!" Another wrote: "You know that bears don't really eat porridge, right?"

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