Children should be forced to sit through sex education classes even if it goes against their parents’ wishes, a secularist pressure group in Scotland has said.
The Scottish Secular Society (SSS) were responding to draft guidelines on sex and relationships teaching in schools from the Scottish Government.
The guidelines give teachers and parents an opt-out from sex education classes.
The SSS wants the Government to make sex education mandatory across all state schools, with “set curricular content”.
But a Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland minister Revd James Tallach has refuted the claims from the SSS, saying it would create more problems than it would solve.
He said that increased sex and relationships teaching in areas of England has caused more unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases rather than fewer.
Caroline Lynch, Chair of the SSS, said she acknowledged that some parents wish to withdraw their children from sex education lessons because of concern over the appropriateness of material, or from a religious stance.
But she said: “It is difficult when there are competing rights to consider to find the correct balance.
“In this case, it is the child who will bear the consequences of our inaction, consequences which are often lifelong, and can be very severe.
“As such, we feel it is only correct that we support the rights of the child to a proper education, in the knowledge that in doing so, we enable them to act responsibly and guard their own health.”