Checklist for parents to evaluate content and appropriateness of teenage values educational packages.
“Since they have conferred life on their children, parents have the original, primary and inalienable right to educate them... in conformity with their moral and religious convictions"
Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality
“The Church cannot wait to deplore the devastation of its altars, the destruction of its temples, if
an education, hostile to Christ, is to profane the temple of the child's soul consecrated by
baptism, and extinguish the eternal light of the faith in Christ"
Pope Pius XII
Core features of programs should incorporate the following key points:
Arrangement of programs
- Parents must be recognized by all parties to be the primary educators and protectors of children in these matters
- Parents must be fully involved at all stages of any school-based education
- Parents have the right to see for themselves what material is planned for use in diocesan schools.
- Parents have duty to withdraw their children from programs they consider damaging.
- Schools should, in fact, seek written permission from parents to OPT IN to such programs well before they commence, just as they do for school trips.
- Boys and girls should be taught separately
- Material used must be available for inspection by parents, with adequate notice so that they may see what it contains and be involved in discussions with their children on the matters
- Parental control and protection must never be undermined - particularly by clandestine sex instruction classes or by school nurses prescribing the ‘pill’ or abortions in schools for which, under God, bishops are responsible
Content should be based around the following points:
- The focus must at all times reflect the beauty and dignity of marriage and the family.
- Sexual love, is for the procreation of children and mutual support of the spouses in cooperation with God, within the lifelong exclusive covenant of marriage.
- The changes that take place at puberty prepare us for marriage and for motherhood and fatherhood –if that is to be our vocation.
- Is there emphasis on self control? Every person - married or single –must exercise self control with regard to their sexual feelings and thoughts. Modesty in dress, prudence in conduct when alone with another person, trust and respect for parents etc. can greatly help this self control. Respect for parents should never be undermined.
- Trust and respect for parents which greatly helps this self-control must be emphasized..
- It should be stressed that although our sexual feelings are good when rightly directed within marriage, they are affected by the weakness of sin. In particular, they can be used in greed, selfishness, addiction and even violence.
- Graphic descriptions of the marriage act are not appropriate.
- Only honest good information should be given. “Safe sex” messages are therefore forbidden. These messages are deceptive;- condoms still allow the spread of infection and nothing, apart from chastity, properly prevents the spread of many sexually transmitted diseases.
All programs must conform to the guidance in The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality (which is available on this website).