Yesterday this letter was published in the Age. It is illogical.
No sex, please
THE claim by the director of Catholic education, Stephen Elder, that in his school system ”each individual is encouraged to probe and question the world around him” (Letters, 25/5) is quite a turnaround.
When my son participated in interschool debating, one topic – ”that secondary schools should make contraceptives available in vending machines” – was changed, with less than 24 hours notice, to a debate on public transport.
The organisation for interschool debating revealed that Catholic schools had threatened to boycott the debate unless the topic was pulled. Furthermore, schools had been instructed that any discussion of contraception was grounds for a teacher’s immediate dismissal.
This appeared to be a violation of free speech, of employment rights, and also a public health concern.
I had mistakenly assumed that sex education was mandatory in secondary schools. But the Education Department told me it had no powers to interfere.
Felicity Bloch, Hawthorn
I wrote this reply to the Age. Of course not published; Instead another critical letter which was actually far more pertinent and logical.
Here is my letter
Felicity Bloch takes at face value what she is told by third parties; makes her judgement about Catholic Education and draws incorrect conclusions about Public Health, the Curriculum and Employment Law in Victoria. She seems to assume that there is no sex education in Catholic Schools. From this line of reasoning she concludes that the point Steven Elder was making is undermined.
I have taught in all sectors beginning in Tech Schools, and am currently working in a Catholic Education; I feel that the Steven Elder’s statement is very true of my current school. I would recommend any parent who wants their children to be taught ethics, values and a sense of social justice to enrol them in a Catholic School.
Let us celebrate that children and their parents have choice of three education sectors whose successes are often featured in Education Age.