13 Dec 2010

Advocacy group battles illegal Christian fundamentalist proselytizing in U.S. public schools


Church & State - July/August 2010

Stealth Evangelism And The Public Schools

Kansas Pastor David Jenkins Stood Up To Improper Fundamentalist Proselytizing In Schools – And You Should Too

By Rob Boston

United Methodist minister David Jenkins was meeting with fellow clergy last year in the small Kansas community of Sharon Springs when one of the pastors made what sounded like a routine request.

The clergyman noted that the Todd Becker Foundation was coming to town, and the evangelical Christian organization, which purports to warn youngsters about the dangers of drunk driving, wanted to line up local religious leaders to help with its presentation.

What struck Jenkins as odd was the venue: It was to take place at Wallace County High School.

Furthermore, the Becker Foundation had a very specific set of duties in mind for the ministers. They would swing into action after students had been offered a chance to become “born again.”

“Our task was to go forward when students came down to make their decision, and we would give them a Bible and some Christian material and talk with them about Christ,” Jenkins said.

He noted that one of the attendees at the meeting was the town’s former school superintendent, a man who never had much use for the separation of church and state.

“His comment was that they’d have to fly under the radar so they were not barred from giving a gospel presentation in school,” Jenkins said. “It was clear to me they were using this drunk-driving lecture as a vehicle to give an evangelizing presentation.”

Jenkins wanted no part of the scheme. In fact, he vowed to put a stop to it since he believed the Becker Foundation’s activities were legally dubious. He alerted Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

“For me, it’s not appropriate for several reasons,” Jenkins told Church & State. “This is a public school. There are students in that school who are Catholic, and that is not their form of evangelism.

“These kids are forced to attend this program because it is a school function,” continued Jenkins. “If they don’t attend, they could be disciplined. They have a forced audience of people who are under age, whose parents in many cases would not be very happy to see their kids being exposed to this type of event.”

Americans United’s Legal Department investigated and took action, sending a letter to school officials warning them that allowing Becker Foundation representatives to proselytize students would violate church-state separation.

But AU didn’t stop there. Later, AU Legal Director Ayesha N. Khan and Staff Attorney Ian Smith drafted a letter to officials at the foundation itself, warning them that their activities were constitutionally problematic.

AU’s intervention in the issue is not new. In fact, AU attorneys have periodically done battle with groups just like the Becker Foundation – fundamentalist-oriented ministries that have proven adept at slipping into public schools under the cover of stealth, where they preach to students outright or pressure them to attend a revival later that evening.

It has been a long-running fight. More than 20 years ago, Americans United sounded the alarm about a group called Sports World Ministries, which sent former professional athletes into public schools to deliver speeches on “character” – lectures that often took on the air of revival meetings.

In one case, school officials in Williamsburg, Va., said they were “caught flat-footed” by the group, which offered an anti-drug assembly that ended with an appeal to accept Jesus.

The organization, currently headquartered in Indiana, now operates under the name “Sports World.” And these days it has plenty of company. Several similar fundamentalist proselytizers roam the country, seeking entree into public schools.

These groups share common tactics: They approach school officials with an offer of an engaging assembly on a topic that looks secular, such as suicide prevention, drug awareness or anti-bullying strategies.

Speakers may have scant credentials to address these topics. That’s not surprising, because they are really just fundamentalist evangelists looking for a way to preach to a captive public school audience.

The Becker Foundation is a good case in point. The group was founded by Keith Becker, whose younger brother was killed in a drunk-driving accident in 2005. Todd Becker, a high school senior at the time, was a passenger in car driven by another student, who was legally intoxicated when the wreck occurred.

Todd Becker’s fate is undeniably tragic, and Keith Becker, who converted to Christianity after his brother’s death, uses the tale for maximum emotional impact. But that’s not all the group does.

In a letter sent to Pastor Jenkins, the Becker Foundation was upfront about its desire to convert students to fundamentalism. The missive reads in part, “Following the actual assembly, students who are particularly impacted and in need of help or counsel are then, one-on-one shown the truth of scriptures and presented the truth of eternal salvation in Jesus Christ. We then provide the student with a Bible and other Christian reading materials.”

AU’s Legal Department promptly sent a letter to Wallace County school officials and followed up with a phone call to Superintendent Robert Young, who assured Americans United that he would tell the group not to preach to the students or attempt to lure them to an evangelistic service later in the day.

Young apparently followed through, but not all references to the evening revival were scrubbed. Jenkins noted that fliers promoting the religious service were posted all over the school.

AU attorneys considered the Wallace County matter closed – but they were aware that the flap in Sharon Springs was just a skirmish. Reports continued to filter in from the Midwest about Becker Foundation staff members preaching in public schools.

In its letter to the Becker Foundation, AU’s Khan and Smith warned Keith Becker that the organization must stop its improper evangelistic activities in public schools. Failure to do so, they cautioned, could result in legal action against the foundation as well as the schools.

The AU legal team cited a long line of court decisions that hold private entities liable when they knowingly join with government to bring about constitutional violations. Thus the Becker Foundation’s religious presentations in public schools violate church-state separation and could put the organization at legal risk.

“[We wish] to put you on notice,” said the AU letter, “that private, non-governmental entities such as the Todd Becker Foundation may be held legally liable for violating parents’ and students’ constitutional rights when acting jointly with a public school to present an assembly containing religious content.”

Attorneys for the Becker Foundation replied, insisting the group has done nothing wrong. Students do not have to attend its assemblies, attorney Jefferson Downing insisted, and the events that take place during the school day are free of religious content.

In response, AU noted that the Becker Foundation’s claim is belied by its own Web site. The site quotes the principal of a high school in Dawes County, Neb., who expressed discomfort over religious content in the presentation.

“The part that I thought was not in keeping with public education was the apparent religious ties,” wrote the principal. “I would have liked for that portion to be brought in at the evening meeting and not have it been at the complete student meeting during the school day. I felt uncomfortable with it and I know there were several other teachers who felt the same way.”

In addition, the Hitchcock County (Neb.) News ran a photo of a foundation staffer giving a presentation while standing in front of a video screen covered with Bible verses.

The Becker Foundation’s Web site also states that after its assemblies, students are offered an opportunity to meet with staff members and that these conversations often result in “sharing with the student the gospel of Jesus Christ and pointing them to a new life found in Christ.”

Americans United pointed out that the foundation’s Web site strongly suggests that these meetings are offered after presentations that take place during the school day.

AU’s dust-up with the Becker Foundation is not unique. Speakers from a range of organizations launch into evangelistic sermons in school. Others are more subtle, inviting students to what is described as a party that evening.

Young people may be lured with the promise of free food, games and even drawings for prizes. They may get those things – after they’ve sat through a fundamentalist sermon.

Sometimes dubbed “pizza evangelists” because of their predilection for offering free snacks to students, representatives from these ministries roam the nation, hitting public schools in one community and quickly moving on to the next.

Many of these organizations are adept at crafting messages that appeal to young people through the use of props, costumes and stunts.

One ministry, Commandos! USA based in Katy, Texas, purports to offer a program on the dangers of substance abuse led by performers dressed in quasi-military garb. But the emphasis is really on preaching. The group’s Web site brags that it seeks to “impart effectively the true meaning of God’s word” and quotes a passage from the Book of Psalms.

AU tangled with the Commandos! in February of 2008, advising a public school in Laredo to either cancel the presentation or make sure it remained free of religious content and pitches for after-school religious events. Officials chose to cancel the presentation.

Three other ministries – the Power Team, the Strength Team and Team Impact – use athletes who perform feats of strength such as ripping phone books in half and bending steel bars while lecturing on drug awareness and other topics.

The Power Team boasts that it practices “Family-Focused Evangelism” and says, “We bring the message of Christ in an energizing way to your community…. [W]e create a revival meeting atmosphere resulting in an awe-inspiring response. Hundreds, even thousands, give their lives to Christ during a typical crusade.”

Likewise, the Strength Team boasts that it offers “evangelism with a purpose” while Team Impact promises pastors, “With a Team Impact event, your church has the ability to impact your schools with this powerful message.”

Evangelist Rick Gage, based in Duluth, Ga., runs Go Tell Ministries, which purports to offer an anti-drug message in public schools. A former assistant football coach at Liberty University, Gage boasts on his Web site that he has spoken to more than two million public school students.

Gage is clear about his goals. His site reads, “He has led thousands of people – young and old, rich and poor of all ethnic backgrounds – to make personal decisions to live for Christ.”

There’s even a Minnesota-based ministry that uses hard rock music to reach teens. Called You Can Run But You Cannot Hide, the group frequently sends its band Junkyard Prophet into public schools.

One of its leaders recently said, “We are speaking to kids in our schools about the Constitution, suicide prevention and our own testimony of how Christ turned our lives around…so we can get the light into kids’ hands in public schools.”

You Can Run But You Cannot Hide, based in Annandale, Minn., has ties to the Republican Party in that state. U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has twice helped the group raise money. In addition, ministry members attended the Minnesota GOP convention in April, and the Minnesota Independent reported that the band’s front man, Bradlee Dean, visited gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer in his home.

Some moderates in the Minnesota GOP are alarmed. As the Independent reported, Dean holds extreme views. In May, he even seemed to praise hard-line Muslim nations for executing gays.

“Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America,” Dean said on a ministry radio show May 15. “This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination.”

While most of the school evangelists aren’t this extreme, they don’t exactly try to hide what they’re up to. Their Web sites are rife with fundamentalist Christian testimony and appeals to sympathetic donors to help them proselytize. On a form filed with the Internal Revenue Service, the Dallas-based Power Team lists it purpose in just one word: evangelism.

The Becker Foundation’s Web site states it upfront: “Our desire is to impact students for eternity, not just for a few Friday nights,” it reads. “Thus, our sole purpose is to draw young people into a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Elsewhere on the site, Keith Becker writes, “As we travel around this state, our desire is that our efforts would result in this one thing: that young and old alike would turn their lives over, fully over, to Jesus Christ.”

The group also has some friends in high places. In February, it hosted a banquet in Kearney featuring Gigi Graham, daughter of famous evangelist Billy Graham, as its special guest speaker.

Despite this clear evangelistic intent, the foundation claims to have done presentations in nearly 150 Nebraska schools, all but a handful of them public schools. The group says its goal is to reach every school in the state.

Amazingly, some of these groups are able to persuade school officials to pay them. The Power Team, for example, instructs school officials to contact them “for pricing for your area.” A letter released by the Becker Foundation reads, “We do not charge the high school an actual fee; rather, they determine the expenses they are able to pay. We then raise the remaining expenses unpaid by the school. We rely on individuals and local churches to fund the message in their community.”

In Sharon Springs, a rural Kansas hamlet of about 800 near the Colorado border, the Becker Foundation’s foray has had lasting effects on Jenkins. The minister had been at odds with a faction of his congregation aligned with the Religious Right prior to the foundation’s appearance in town. His refusal to support the crusade pushed things to the breaking point, and they engineered his ouster.

Jenkins, 50, is currently living in Kansas City and plans to join the United Church of Christ. He hopes to find work serving as pastor of a UCC congregation. His run-in with the Todd Becker Foundation, Jenkins said, has been a learning experience for him – and he hopes it will be for the town as well.

“If that community had a Muslim group come in and wanted to do that type of presentation, they would have been up in arms,” observed Jenkins. “As long as it’s what some hold to strongly, they think it’s OK in the schools.

“If they’re really going to focus on evangelism, why not do it in a church?” he asks. “In a church there would be no problem. The fact that they do it in a school shows they are trying to reach a captive audience of kids who are compelled to attend.”

Despite the upheaval in his professional life, Jenkins has no regrets.

“If I had to do it all over again, I would,” Jenkins said. “I think this issue is important enough that it needs to be addressed.”

AU Legal Director Khan called on public school officials to exercise diligence when private organizations offer to put on assemblies. The Web sites of many of these groups, she said, make it clear that they are interested chiefly in evangelism. A little research, she said, can stave off possible legal action.

“When a group that openly proclaims to be a Christian ministry approaches a public school and offers to put on a program,” Khan said, “a little warning bell should go off in a principal’s head. It’s likely this group has ulterior motives.”

This article was found at:


‘Stealth Evangelism’ Groups To Watch Out For

By Rob Boston

Several fundamentalist Christian ministries seek to bring proselytizing messages into public schools. Here is information about some of those organizations. All mission statements are taken directly from the groups’ Web sites.

• The Power Team
Headquarters: Dallas, Texas
Budget: $1,522,438
Description: This fundamentalist-oriented ministry relies on a bevy of buff athletes who perform feats of strength such as bending metal bars and ripping up phone books. Led by Todd Keene, the group offers programs on suicide prevention, drug awareness, nutrition and other topics – but there’s no evidence that the presenters are experts in any of these fields.
Mission: “The Power Team, Inc. endeavors to preach and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. People are motivated and encouraged to live virtuously and righteously by following the teachings of Jesus Christ.”

• Sports World
Headquarters: Indianapolis, Ind.
Budget: $1,308,079
Description: Sports World recruits former pro athletes and converts them into proselytizers in the public schools. The ex-athletes give lectures on topics such as suicide, drug abuse and abusive relationships.
Mission: “The vision of Sports World Ministries, Inc. is to have a presence on every available school campus, encouraging and challenging students through the Message of Hope…. Sports World is a seed-planting ministry and always seeks to pass the baton to local groups for discipleship and Christian mentoring.”

• Strength Team
Headquarters: Missoula, Mont.
Budget: $499,718
Description: The Strength Team is a sort of poor man’s version of the Power Team. It uses a crew of muscle men who perform feats of strength while offering talks on character and anti-bullying strategies.
Mission: “We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory. We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.”

• You Can Run But You Cannot Hide
Headquarters: Annandale, Minn.
Budget: $385,670
Description: This fundamentalist ministry uses a rock band to lure youngsters into fundamentalist Christianity. The band, called Junkyard Prophet, claims to be able to address any number of issues. According to its Web site, the band offers an “overall message of responsibility” touching on issues such as “drugs, alcoholism, suicide, sex, media, our country, our Veterans, our freedom, the Constitution, the choices we make, the friends that we have, and more in a language that speaks directly to the heart of this generation.”
Mission: “[To] bring permanent change to the people in your community and to the whole nation.”

• Commandos! USA
Headquarters: Katy, Texas
Budget: $169,957
Description: The “commandos” are a team of performers who dress in quasi-military garb while demonstrating feats of strength and engaging in mock battles in loud, high-energy presentations. The events are interspersed with lectures on motivation and character, but the group’s evangelical bias is clear.
Mission: “[Commandos founder Billy Lowery] has a very strong belief that Biblical values are not suggestions, rather solid mandates that assure some degree of civility and success in our culture.”

• Team Impact
Headquarters: Coppell, Texas
Budget: $1,865,141
Description: Similar to the Power Team and the Strength Team, Team Impact uses muscle-bound performers to get the attention of young people. According to the group’s Web site, “[Y]our church has the ability to impact your schools with this powerful message. Very rarely do we not couple these effective school outreaches with our local church events.” The ministry claims to address 700,000 students every year.
Mission: “To spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The organization promotes and sponsors programs directed to the youth of America to encourage them to live and grow in life styles which are based on Biblical principles.”

• Go Tell Crusades
Headquarters: Duluth, Ga.
Budget: $499,779
Description: Evangelist Rick Gage offers anti-drug and anti-alcohol lectures in public schools, trading on his past experiences as a football coach.
Mission: “To promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

• Todd Becker Foundation
Headquarters: Kearney, Neb.
Budget: No information available
Description: This group was founded by the older brother of a Nebraska high school student who died in a drunk-driving accident in 2005. It purports to offer lectures on the dangers of drunk driving to schools, but critics say its real purpose is to evangelize public school students.
Mission: “The Foundation’s purpose is to motivate young individuals to discover their potentials and ultimately discover themselves through first discovering God’s plan for their life by placing their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.”

This article was found at:



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  1. Iowa high school assembly stirs protest

    Waterloo Courier March 9, 2012

    DUNKERTON, Iowa — Administrators, teachers and students did not get what they expected Thursday during an extended school program. Everyone anticipated the message from Junkyard Prophet, a traveling band based in Minnesota, to be about bullying and making good choices. Instead, junior and senior high students at Dunkerton High School and faculty members said they were assaulted by the group's extreme opinions on homosexuality and images of aborted fetuses.

    "They told my daughter, the girls, that they were going to have mud on their wedding dresses if they weren't virgins," said Jennifer Littlefield, a parent upset with the band's performance. Her daughter, Alivia Littlefield, 16, is a junior, and called Littlefield after the event.

    "I couldn't even understand her, she was crying so hard," Littlefield said. Littlefield also did not appreciate what she described as gay bashing. "They told these kids that anyone who was gay was going to die at the age of 42," she said. "It just blows me away that no one stopped this."

    The assembly began with music, which some students apparently liked well enough. Overall, Superintendent Jim Stanton said, the group offered "a very strong anti-violence, anti-drug, anti-alcohol" message. The band's lyrics offer evidence of some of their religious beliefs, though, like this passage from "Junkyard Rock."

    "People be freakin' when we speakin' cuz we burnin it up, The life you livin', when you sinnin' cuz we tearin it up, With the word that hot, From the School of Hard Knocks gonna break the rocks, We ain't stoppin', the convictions poppin' Junkyard in the house and the Holy Ghost droppin'."

    "The kids were rocking out," Stanton said. He noted Junkyard Prophet performed at the school years ago prior to his tenure. According to Stanton, staff members at the school at that time and officials from other districts had positive impressions of the group. However, Stanton said, the group apparently changed and misrepresented its total message going into Thursday's appearance.

    After performing, the group separated boys, girls and teachers in the building. During the breakout session, the young men learned the group's thoughts on the U.S. Constitution and what one Prophet referred to as its "10 commandments." The leader also showed images of musicians who died because of drug overdoses, including Elvis Presley. Members of the group blasted other performers, like Toby Keith, for their improper influence.

    The girls, meanwhile, were told to save themselves for their husbands and assume a submissive role in the household. According to witnesses, the leader in that effort also forced the young ladies to chant a manta of sorts about remaining pure.

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    Those who walked out or attempted to confront the speakers were shouted down or ridiculed as disrespectful, according to students. Heidi Manahl, Littlefield's sister, also had a student at the assembly. She, too, was appalled by Junkyard Prophet's message and tactics.

    "I've never had so many young women come up to me crying because of what was said to them. They were bullied by these people and forced to sit there and told to be quiet," Manahl said.

    Stanton spoke to the student body again at day's end, emphasizing the positive aspects of the group's message. But he also told students the presenters shared "an opinion about intolerance that's not in line with the beliefs of the Dunkerton Community Schools." "We promote tolerance for one another," Stanton said. "We will continue to celebrate diversity in our student body."

    Littlefield said she appreciates that the administration has accepted responsibility for the assembly, which clearly went awry. "But the damage has been done. You let these people stay in the school for three hours," she added. Manahl is concerned about what comes next. She hopes administrators and teachers reach out to "students who don't fit in." "There are students in that school who are homosexual and they need to be protected," she said.

    Littlefield isn't sure where officials go from here. But she is certain some repair work is in order. "Something definitely has to be done to make the situation better," she said. The district is trying to recover the fee paid to Junkyard Prophet, Stanton said. According to other sources, the band typically receives $1,500 per performance.


  3. Junkyard Prophet Profits Mightily

    by: Freedom From Religion Foundation April 3, 2012

    In the wake of publicity and complaints, Superintendent Jim Stanton of Dunkerton [Iowa] Community Schools has received a verbal lashing from parents at a school board meeting March 13 about an assembly for junior high and high school students presented by the Christian ministry group You Can Run But You Cannot Hide and its musical group Junkyard Prophet.

    Stanton apologized and agreed to make changes to the assembly procedures for the school in Dunkertown, a town of about 800 people. The assembly the week before included images of aborted fetuses and derisive comments about gay people.

    FFRF received a copy of the assembly contract in response to a request for records from the school. The contract required the school to pay $2,000 to You Can Run But You Cannot Hide.

    The contract says of the ministry, “We have an agenda for truth and not [sic] agenda for opinion.” It says, “We fully warrant our productions to be factual; connective with the students, encouraging to produce an atmosphere of thought and responsibility for the student and the world they live in.”

    The group posted two video clips of portions of the assembly. One is here. The other is here.

    The contract specifies that boys, girls, and teachers would be separated for a second portion of the program. The contract says, “The boys will be doing a huge exploration of music, dealing with different artists, what they stand for and don’t stand for, their lyrics and more.”

    The contract says, “The girls will deal with issues such as the beauty of being a bride, purity, your heart, knowing whom you follow and more.” KCRG reported that the girls' program included a statement that girls would have “mud on their wedding dresses” if they weren’t virgins and that they should assume a submissive role in the household.

    The boys were reportedly given the group’s theocratic view of the Constitution during a portion of their program.

    “This school assembly is shocking," said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. "The anti-gay and religious propaganda was offensive to students, teachers and parents. The school is entitled to a full refund, and You Can Run But You Cannot Hide cannot be allowed into any public school again."

    FFRF previously warned other schools to take notice. see:


  4. Secret recordings reveal anti-abortion group spreading falsehoods in schools

    by: British Humanist Association April 3, 2012

    Recordings of talks given by the anti-abortion group, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) have revealed that the group seriously misinforms parents, pupils and staff about the effects of abortion, and the nature of Sex and Relationships Education (SRE). SPUC school speakers have falsely linked abortion to breast cancer and ‘post-abortion trauma’ (which is not a recognised medical condition). The British Humanist Association (BHA) and Education For Choice (EFC) have called on schools to stop inviting speakers in from organisations whose literature and presentations are riddled with misinformation, and on the government to take immediate steps to prevent such groups having access to children in schools.

    Members of local humanist groups attended talks given to parents in Milton Keynes, Wakefield and Bournemouth, and more recently, members of Feminist Action Cambridge (FAC) were able to attend a talk given to secondary pupils in a school. The meetings in Milton Keynes and Cambridge were recorded.

    SPUC’s talk to pupils focuses on the supposed harms of abortion. EFC has previously obtained SPUC’s 2008 PowerPoint presentation, which included graphic images of aborted foetuses and misinformation relating to pregnancy, contraception and abortion. The presentation FAC saw last month has been updated, although some of the fictions exposed then are still being repeated now, four years later. Claims presented include:

    • The morning after pill ‘can cause an early abortion’ and may be damaging to women’s health and future fertility – but legally and medically, emergency hormonal contraception does not end an established pregnancy and is therefore not the same as abortion. There are no serious or long-term health problems associated with taking emergency contraception.

    • Abortion increases a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer – but Cancer Research UK explain that ‘pregnancies that end in an abortion do not increase a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer later in life’.

    • Abortion can lead to ‘suicidal tendencies’ ‘depression’ ‘drug and alcohol abuse’ – all symptoms of ‘post abortion trauma’ – ‘Post Abortion Trauma’ is an invented condition and is not recognised by the medical profession. The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges’ report, ‘Induced Abortion and Mental Health’ explains that ‘The rates of mental health problems for women with an unwanted pregnancy were the same whether they had an abortion or gave birth’.

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    Young people witnessing such presentations are subjected not only to misinformation but a stigmatising and at times distressing portrayal of a safe, legal medical procedure which a third of women in the UK will experience.

    Paradoxically, SPUC’s own ‘Safe at School’ campaign opposes what it calls the ‘explicit nature of sex education in schools’, addressing parents across the country about the perceived harms of SRE. SPUC courted controversy last year when it held an event for parents in Tower Hamlets jointly with a number of other groups, including SREIslamic, under its ‘Safe at School’ banner. The meetings attended by local humanists focussed on generating fear amongst parents about the contents of their child’s SRE teaching, and informing them how to withdraw their children from SRE. Parents were also told that the government is considering introducing compulsory sex education (which it is not), and that they should write to their MP in opposition to this.

    BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson said: ‘It is deeply disturbing that anti-choice groups are so easily able to enter schools and present these damaging fictions, and that they are fear-mongering with parents, again through the spreading of stories which are untrue. Parents and teachers should be aware of the falsehood of the claims made by SPUC, and the government should be more pro-active in preventing groups that persistently make false claims of this nature from having access to vulnerable children, especially in schools.’

    EFC’s Laura Hurley said: ‘Exposing pupils to presentations that misinform them and cause them distress goes against all good educational practice and is an abdication of schools’ pastoral duty of care. It is time that schools took responsibility for providing good quality, evidence-based education about abortion themselves and stopped their reliance on a range of outside agencies whose educational provision does not meet the basic standards which would be required in delivery of any other subject.’

    For related articles see: