Schools follow rules on teaching abstinence

The Timaru Herald 20/04/2010

Timaru children will not be taught to abstain from sex unless primary schools are directed by parents or the Education Ministry, despite a Family First survey showing three out of four parents of young children are all for it. A Family First-commissioned survey asked 1000 people last month whether they thought schools, as part of their sex education programme, should be required to encourage pupils to abstain from sex until they were old enough to handle the possible consequences of pregnancy. The survey found 69 per cent of Kiwis said yes, 23 per cent said no, and 9 per cent refused to answer or didn’t know.

…At high schools, principals said sex education did cover abstinence. Roncalli College principal Chris Comeau said as a Catholic school, students were taught that abstinence was the “preferred option of the church”. But the school also made students aware that there were other methods of contraception. Mountainview High School principal Derek Friend said his school’s programme covered all aspects and abstinence was certainly put forward as the best option. Mr Friend said from what Family First had said, it seemed schools had all the responsibility regarding sex education, while the role of the parent was not mentioned.
LISTEN Bob McCoskrie talks to Petra Bagust and Pat Brittenden on Newstalk ZB (18 April 2010) about the research