The government says it will get tough on people who make malicious accusations and comments in the wake of the controversy over sex education.

The Department of Education, Sport and Culture says such comments were being received by staff and shared across social media platforms.

It says they are damaging and are having a detrimental impact.

‘The comments will not be tolerated by the department and such comments will be reported, where appropriate, to the Isle of Man Constabulary,’ said a spokesperson.

Education Minister Julie Edge told the House of Keys this week that the public should refrain from speculation while the facts are established.

Chief Minister Alfred Cannan says the safety and security of children ‘must come first’ during the sex education controversy.

He spoke yesterday about the situation after a flurry of speculation and accusations about what was taught to 11- and 12-year-olds at Queen Elizabeth II High School, Peel.

Sex education in the Isle of Man is currently suspended while a review of what was taught takes place.

Mr Cannan said he expects a result from the investigation in ‘two to three weeks’.

He told Manx Radio: ‘These are serious and sensitive matters and I’m absolutely clear that the safety and security of children must come first and that’s why it’s been absolutely appropriate that the minister for education has paused the sex education curriculum.

‘We need facts. Many of these allegations that are appearing in the media are deeply concerning.

‘There are also conflicting reports and we now need to establish with full clarity exactly what has gone on in these classes.

‘We need to examine this particular curriculum and reassess and ensure it is appropriate and also it is being delivered appropriately.

‘We now need a period of two to three weeks to get clarity on the facts, then we need to move on to a period of reflection, and then we need to act accordingly.’

The reports suggest that children were given graphic information about sexual practices and that one child was excluded from a class after questioning information about genders.

The story has been picked up by the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph and on GB News this week.

The Department of Education, Sport and Culture has appointed independent external investigators.

Mr Cannan revealed that a lawyer and a former policeman will lead an investigation into what was taught.

The investigators will now produce a report, which will ascertain the facts of the situation and any appropriate action that the department may need to undertake.

A DESC spokesman added: ‘The DESC will continue to support all children, young people and staff and recognises the value and important role that our staff play in the future of our island’s children and young people and their education.’

Further information regarding the investigation will follow ‘within the coming days’, says the government.