The focus on Relationships and Sexual Education in schools has been heightened by calls for removing the influence of the ethos in its teaching. This is coupled with the focus on the referendum on May 25th, where abortion is being discussed in many schools, (albeit mainly secondary schools.) Because the Catholic church is very much against abortion rights for women, most schools cannot offer a balanced view of the referendum. Lifeworks are an agency that are very much one side of the fence on this issue and often attend schools. There was some furore this week when a school in Tralee offered a talk from this group, where parents complained about the lack of balance. It even reached the desk of Richard Bruton who made comment. The problem is that any school under the ethos of any denomination must send out the message of its church’s message. In the case of Catholic schools, this means that they can allow organisations with Catholic messages to speak to the children. However, schools should be open about their intentions.

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