The Italian Almanac

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Whips and Cuffs

An Italian primary school teacher is in hot water after a sex education class in which she openly discussed whips, handcuffs and genital piercing. Parents of the children in the fifth and final year of an elementary school in this northeastern Italian city have asked the school to keep her away from their children.

The headmaster of the elementary school, Vincenzo Guarino, said the teacher was guilty of ``serious naivety`` in not realising that ``certain subjects and language can be used in a class of 15-year-olds, but not 11-year-olds``. ``It`s true that she was only answering questions but there are ways of discussing these things``. Parents say the unidentified teacher went into detail about the practices cited, after an initial discussion on masturbation led to oral sex and further afield.

The teacher has defended herself by saying she was only doing what she had been told in a training course for teaching children about sex, which emphasised the importance of speaking frankly in order ``to clear things up``. But during a stormy parent-teacher meeting the father of an 11-year-old girl reportedly said: ``The damage is done now and we don`t want our kids to have anything else to do with her for the remainder of the year``.