After rumours swept across France in recent days that kindergartens were to teach "gender theory" and even "masturbation classes" to kids, that sparked a boycott of schools, a furious French minister has been forced to step in and remind parents of their duties.

France's Education Minister Vincent Peillon was forced to act after hundreds of parents have been keeping their children off school as a result of hoax messages about infants as young as four being encouraged to question their sexual identity in so-called "gender theory" lessons.

The rumours spread like wildfire across social media sites and through parental networks and became serious enough for a furious Peillon to take action.

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