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Sex education threatens Nova Scotians.

Halifax--This fall, 2004, along with reading, writing and arithmetic, Nova Scotia students will learn all about sex, condoms, date rape and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Having resisted the distribution of the government produced book Sex? A Healthy Sexuality Resource because it was "too racy," the Halifax school board has approved its distribution with the proviso that parents of grades 7, 8 and 9 students must sign parental consent forms.

According to Joe MacLellan, a pro-life leader in Antigonish, "filth" is too mild a word to describe the manual. Having read Draft 14 of it, he reports that the words "morality" and "marriage" never appear in the document. The only guidelines offered to students are about avoiding STDs and unwanted pregnancies. After that, "feeling good" about engaging in sexual activity is the only criterion for deciding.

Planned Parenthood is featured prominently in the document as the organization available to help girls should they fail in their efforts to prevent unwanted pregnancies. The Evangelical group, Focus on the Family, says more space should have been given to telling teens they will not become "uncool" if they don't have sex. It also noted the absence of references to organizations that promote abstinence.

Catholic Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Halifax and two other regional bishops have addressed their concerns about the book in a letter to parents (The Atlantic Catholic, April 3, 2004). They warn parents that the book is too explicit and graphic and could undermine what parents are teaching their children at home. They go on to remind parents that they are irreplaceable as the primary educators of their children, particularly about the gift of fertility. Without naming other sources, they direct parents to other "books, pamphlets and videos, as well as programs in natural family planning."

The Cape Breton Strait District School Board has imposed a bah on the book (National Post, Aug. 24, 2004, The Atlantic Catholic, Apr. 3, May 15, 2004).
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Title Annotation:book on sexuality is distributed with parental consent to students
Publication:Catholic Insight
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Oct 1, 2004
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