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Labour MP left red-faced over sex ed complaint (from www.christian.org.uk)

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A Labour MP has been left embarrassed after her assistant accidentally issued an email making fun of parents’ concerns about a controversial sex education film.

Chris and Pauline Power began campaigning against the “cartoon porn” video, entitled Living and Growing, after seeing a preview of it at their son’s junior school.

The video, which is produced by Channel 4, shows a cartoon couple chasing each other around a bed before having sex in various positions.

Belittled

However, when Mr Power contacted his local MP Alison McGovern about the video he didn’t expect his concerns to be belittled.

After four weeks of silence Mr Power received an accidental email from one of Miss McGovern’s staff.

The email, sent by a Labour Party worker known as Jay, said: “Alison, think we need to get a response out to this gentleman. Know it’s an awfully uncomfortable discussion to have, but think we need to get a position (stop giggling at the back) sooner than later.”

Juvenile

Mr Power has expressed dismay over the juvenile response.

He said: “We have tried our best to protest against the important issue of sex education in schools and have contacted Ms McGovern on many occasions over the last four weeks.

“I hadn’t received anything back until today and even then it was an email I wasn’t supposed to see.

Serious

“There is a time and a place for joking around, but this is a serious issue and what message does it send out when those who are supposed to represent us have such a disregard for the opinions of electors.

“It is a sad comment on our society that this is how an MP treats her constituents.”

Miss McGovern, who described the email as “puerile”, indicated that the staff member may be disciplined.

Speaking

She said: “Although it was clearly sent by mistake, I will be looking at the situation and speaking with him personally.

“I have tried to get in touch with Mr Power to send my personal apologies.”

The staff member has also offered his apologies.

Earlier this year angry mums blasted a primary school’s plan to show pupils the Living and Growing video.

Outraged

Cliff Lane Primary School in Suffolk was planning to show the video to seven-year-old pupils, but outraged mums were left horrified after they saw the graphic DVD during a consultation.

Kara Munday, whose five-year-old daughter attends the school, said: “We are genuinely concerned that sexual activity would take place because they would be aware of what these parts do and how to make it feel nice”.

She added: “Their innocence will be taken away at an early age.”

Her concerns were echoed by Emma O’Brien, whose seven-year-old son attends the school, who said: “There are some body parts kids don’t need to know yet. They shouldn’t be taught that.”

Teacher scolds girl, 5, for talking about Jesus

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A five-year-old girl from Devon was left in tears after her teacher reprimanded her for talking about Jesus in class – and her mummy could be facing the sack.

The girl’s mother, who works part-time at the school, is being investigated by governors because she emailed friends at church asking them to pray about her daughter’s situation.

Mrs Jennie Cain is being supported by The Christian Institute’s legal defence fund.

The head teacher at the school, Mr Gary Read, learnt about the prayer request after he got hold of a private email sent by Mrs Cain from home using her personal email account.

He would not tell the 38-year-old mother of two how he got a copy of her personal email, but he told her she was being investigated for misconduct.

Mrs Cain said: “I felt embarrassed that a private prayer email was read by the school – it felt like someone had gone through my personal prayer diary.

“I feel my beliefs are so central to who I am, are such a part of my children’s life.

“I do feel our beliefs haven’t been respected and I don’t feel I have been treated fairly. I don’t know what I am supposed to have done wrong.”

On 22 January Mrs Cain went to pick up her children from the 275-strong Landscore Primary School in Crediton, Devon.

Earlier that day her daughter, Jasmine, had been overheard by a teacher discussing heaven and God with a friend. The teacher took the five-year-old to one side and told her off.

Mrs Cain said that when she picked her children up from school, “my daughter burst into tears, her face was all red and she was clearly upset.

“She said ‘my teacher told me I couldn’t talk about Jesus’ – I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

“She said she was taken aside in the classroom and told she couldn’t say that. I was so shocked, I didn’t know what to do.”

The next day Mrs Cain was called into Mr Read’s office over another matter before he started discussing her daughter, Jasmine.

“He started talking about my daughter about how he wasn’t happy about her making statements about her faith.

“At that point I froze, I felt very small and I felt trapped as I was a junior member of staff.”

That weekend, she emailed a prayer request from her personal computer at home to ten trusted friends from her church.

“I asked them to please pray for us, please pray for Jasmine, please pray for the school and pray for the church.”

A few days later she was called back into Mr Read’s office.

“I didn’t think at this point I could be more stunned. He had in his hand a copy of my private, personal email and it was highlighted all the way through.

“He said that he was going to investigate me for professional misconduct because I had been making allegations about the school and staff to members of the public.”

Mrs Cain, who was not suspended, said he refused to tell her where he had got the email but said two independent governors would be taking statements and calling witnesses.

“He said the investigation could be followed by disciplinary action up to and including dismissal because of this private email.”

The Christian Institute’s Mike Judge said: “I thought I had heard it all when I learned a nurse had been suspended for offering to pray for a patient.

“But now a five-year-old girl and her mother have been slammed for nothing more than expressing their Christian faith.

“I am particularly concerned about the way in which Mrs Cain’s private email to her church friends ended up in the hands of the head teacher.

“This is the latest in a series of cases where Christians are being persecuted for their religious beliefs. It is really getting to a point where it has to stop.”

http://www.christian.org.uk/news/20090212/teacher-scolds-girl-5-for-talking-about-jesus/

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