Mark Stronge, of the parental group, Truth Behind RSE NI, said it was a sign of the depth of feeling in the province to remove inappropriate, sexually explicit, and potentially illegal content from schools.
“Since the Secretary Of State, Chris Heaton-Harris, railroaded in the changes to the RSE curriculum to include the use of contraception and abortion services, we have been raising awareness of the changes to teaching in secondary schools, the current inappropriate content in many primary schools, what is happening in schools in the rest of the UK, and to what the longer term goals are which have been issued by the W.H.O and UNESCO.
“Parents and teachers are justifiably angry about the way the consultation has been handled with most feeling it is only a box ticking exercise and that the legislation will be implemented without any regard to parent's fundamental human rights.
“We believe, and it is internationally recognised, that it is the parent's absolute and fundamental human right to have their children taught in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.
“No one has the right to steal a child's innocence, regardless of age, we need to allow kids to be kids, and not force dangerous gender ideologies on to them.
The petition milestone was reached after the author of the petition, Kathy Gray, led a province-wide team of volunteers to help spread news of the petition in the week leading up to Christmas.
“I, along with many others across Northern Ireland, have been working passionately on this petition for months and have been watching its progress over the past few weeks. I said to myself, let's give this a push – so many people still don't know what's going on in schools already and we need to stop it.
“Any government department, board of governors, teacher or third party teaching this stuff needs to understand that RSE has failed globally as an initiative. A systematic review of RSE, which has been implemented by all WHO member states globally, found that only 6% of the 103 studies on RSE programmes found any positive evidence of effectiveness, and showed that, overall, there is more evidence of harm than of positive outcomes from such programmes. They found 87% of RSE had failed in its primary purpose, including such things as decrease in condom use, combined with an increase in sexual activity, of partners, oral sex, forced sex, STDs and pregnancies.
“It doesn't take a genius to figure out that if you tell kids about sex, they are going to try it. The idea from the government that education should lead to better outcomes might work for adults, but not for children. The government is out of touch and is being influenced and controlled by radical left wing activists using biased and cherry picked research data to push forward their radical agenda.
“We welcome the government’s guidance for teachers in England with regards to compelled speech in using a pupil's preferred pronouns and hope that they can go further in preventing so much harm happening to damaged kids being caught up into, and radicalised by, a gender cult.
“They should be listening to the people who have experienced mental and permanent physical harm from these radical policies and to the thousands who want to see children protected.
“Control of Education must be brought back to the people of Northern Ireland by the repeal of Section 9 of the NI Executive Formation Act, and this petition is the first step towards that.
The UK wide petition will be open until the end of February and can be accessed HERE