A series of arson attacks on schools in Belgium, particularly in the French-speaking Wallonia region, has raised concerns and is suspected to be connected to a controversial sexual education program called the Evras program.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has expressed his intention to seek assistance from government experts on extremism in addressing this issue. The attacks have targeted schools where signs protesting the Evras program were found. This program mandates four hours of training for students aged 11 to 12 and 15 to 16 to help them navigate their relational and sexual lives, a shift from being optional in previous years.
De Croo emphasized that while tolerance and debate are essential in a democracy, violence in places frequented by children, such as schools, is unacceptable. Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden also condemned the attacks, stating that schools should be off-limits, and both officials have called for a halt to the arsons. Islamic groups have criticized the Evras program, expressing concerns about its potential to hypersexualize children. However, officials have refuted rumors about the program’s content, emphasizing its role in sexual health education and awareness of children’s rights and physical integrity.