I am utterly horrified at what was taught at a PSHE lesson at my school recently. It was to a group of children, most are 11-12 years old. It is so, so much worse than I thought.

The topic was LGBT and Diversity. The kids were taught that biological sex is your anatomy (genitals etc), however, male, female and intersex are genders and are on a spectrum. They were told that people can identify however they want — as male or female. Some people identify as neither; some identify as non-binary. The teachers spoke about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. They explained a lesbian is attracted to ‘other women’, but it was clear that if anyone can identify as a woman then ‘other women’ may actually be men. ‘Cisgender’ was also mentioned and the kids were told that ‘a cisgender person is someone who identifies with the sex they were assigned at birth’. Sex and gender were conflated throughout the lesson and sometimes they were used as synonyms. The kids went home thinking God knows what.

The kids were also told briefly about bestiality, sex toys and masturbation. I really, truly wish that I was kidding. I don’t know who brought up bestiality but the teachers should have shut this down immediately and explained that it is inappropriate, not to mention illegal in the UK. Nothing of the sort. One of the teachers said it was a sexuality whereby some people are attracted to and have sex with animals. It was talked about like it is completely normal. The other things that were taught, were sex toys and masturbation. The kids were told about how people “pleasure themselves”, that some women use a vibrator and some men masturbate to pornography.

I feel disgusted and disheartened. I feel a lesson like that should be reported to the headteacher and the governors but I don’t think it will be dealt with appropriately. The school has form for not taking safeguarding seriously. I feel like I’m going mad and I’m wrong. I know I’m not, but it feels like it. I hope that the parents will say something. They must. Some of the boys [in our school] act a lot older than their age. They are always making inappropriate sexual comments or asking inappropriate sexual questions. I suspect some are also watching pornography online. A couple are obsessed with murder, rape [of girls], suicide and corporal punishment. The sort of PSHE lesson I witnessed will do nothing to challenge their unhealthy attitudes to sex, relationships and women.

We also have a student who is transgender. A girl who identifies as a boy. We were told to use male pronouns to use for her. There was no discussion. I don’t think this is in [the student’s] best interests but I felt unable to say anything. A teacher was reprimanded by a colleague for using ‘she’ for this girl. I [have been] forced to lie to a student. She used ‘she’ for the [transboy] and was told off by a teacher. I am being forced to actively lie. I feel that I cannot safeguard my students effectively. I am worried and scared for the kids — especially our girls – what they’re being told and being forced to use mixed-sex toilets. At this point, I think that the only thing that will stop all this madness is some poor young girl being harmed. The local council is in meltdown. [We] have sent them two letters. They haven’t responded to the second one but from the response to the first one they don’t see any safeguarding issues. Ofsted and the DfE are on board the trans train. The DfE is funding Mermaids. Who are teachers supposed to turn to?

Teacher, 32, England