Tuesday, January 26, 1999

Prostitution classes eyed for Alberta schools

EDMONTON — A provincial task force wants Alberta elementary schools to teach children about the sex trade.

As unusual as the plan may seem to some, it has support at Edmonton's public school board. Chair George Nicolson says given the number of communities where prostitution is active, the idea appears to have some merit.

The proposal currently being circulated by the task force on prostitution suggests teaching prostitution awareness as part of the health curriculum in Grades 4-12.

The task force has yet to formally approach parents and teachers about the idea.

The task force justifies its plan by pointing to the number of prostitutes who begin working in their teens or earlier.

Nicolson agrees prostitution is a reality. The problem, he says, is no longer confined to inner-city areas.

"In the playground in many of our schools the incidents of finding needles or used condoms is quite often the case," he told CBC News.

Parent Lise Watts says the issue would be better dealt with by schools where there's a need for such education, rather than making prostitution awareness a part of the curriculum.

"I hate to take away the innocence of children, city-wide, province-wide, for the sake of a few," Watts told CBC News.

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Created: December 6, 2000
Last modified: January 19, 2001
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