May 12, 2000
British schools to put divorce and 're-partnering' lessons in new curriculum
A story published today in the London Telegraph reports that children will be taught to
cope with divorce, separation and "re-partnering" as part of a new curriculum.
Pupils as young as eight will learn about
"21st century parenting", including single-parent families and same-sex
partnerships as well as marriage. The guidelines stress the importance of "stable
relationships" but say that marriage is only one model.
The newspaper received an advance draft
of the Government's parenthood education guidelines which states that children will be
taught "the role of partnerships and marriage" and "separation, divorce and
re-partnering". Tory MPs fear the guidance will reinforce the acceptability of
divorce or single parenthood.
In a section entitled "Twenty-first
Century Parenting", the guidelines say "many people marry and become parents but
there is now more variety about partnerships and family form". The guidelines, drawn
up in consultation with expert bodies, will be taught alongside sex education classes,
which stress the importance of marriage in relationships.
A senior Whitehall source said
there were lengthy arguments within government about whether to put more emphasis on
marriage. David Blunkett, the Education Secretary, is understood to have wanted greater
emphasis on traditional households.
The story says that other officials felt
it would be "unrealistic" and "exclusionary" to insist that one model
be emphasized. The source said: "We were worried that a lot of children would be made
to feel second class if they come from single-parent homes or have unmarried
guidelines set out expectations for learning about parenthood through primary and
secondary school. Twelve to 14-year-olds will "build on their understanding of
different types of family and how their growing self-awareness can be used to deal
positively with family changes".
May 8, 2000
KCET-TV publishes transcript of an interview with AASP executive director
Last month, Thomas F. Coleman,
was interviewed in the Thinkers, Shakers, and Newsmakers segment of
"Life & Times Tonight" a weeknightly news and public affairs program of KCET
public television in Los Angeles.
The transcript of the interview is now available on
Life and Times pages of the KCET website. To read the interview, click here.