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Sex Education • See: Commentary

Joint release adds to confusion
"A joint release from the Education and Health Ministries about their Abstinence Only programme only adds to the confusion surrounding this controversial policy."
Trinidad Newsday editorial opinion 18 July 2005

"When the Abstinence-Only programme was introduced in the United States, that country’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and its National Institute for Child Health funded studies of 12,000 adolescents to see if the programme were effective or not. Is the Joint Abstinence Committee doing anything similar here? The US studies found that, although those involved in the programme had sex later than those who did not, the rates of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) amongst both groups were the same"

Sex education a desperate need
"One day, back when my sister was in secondary school, one of her classmates complained of having a headache and asked if anyone had any painkillers. Another classmate opened her bag and pulled out a sachet. No, she didn’t have any painkillers. She only had birth control and "throw way" pills. Did she want one of those?"
Suszanna Clarke • Tuesday 05th July 2005 • Trinidad Newsday

Page TopDeath Penalty • See: Commentary

Proceed with caution on road to hangman
"Whatever the national urge for blood, the leadership responsibility is for restraint."
Trinidad Express editorial opinion10 June 2005

"That last is a philosophical, even religious, discussion that deserves to be ongoing, whatever what might be presumed to be the majority's vengeful view, but the State, as of now, has to proceed with maximum caution lest it ends up committing a crime for reasons of political expediency. This remains a very real possibility given popular pressure on the powers-that-be to do something, indeed anything, to arrest the general blood-letting that has become part of the daily diet of all Trinbagonians."

Hanging not the answer
"The evidence here is clear and incontrovertible. Executing criminals has no effect on violent crime. It seems counter-intuitive since, logically, fear of death should serve as a deterrent to those who commit murder."
Trinidad Newsday editorial opinion 08 June 2005

"But we are dealing here with human nature, not logic. In the case of what are called "crimes of passion," the perpetrator is too possessed by rage or despair to care about consequences. In the case of gang murders, the young men involved are clearly persons who place little value on life, including their own. Additionally, the boldness with which they carry out their criminal acts shows that they have no fear of being caught — and with a conviction rate of under 20 percent, their calculation of the odds is quite accurate."

Page Top"Enlightened Education" • See: Commentary

Is education fun?
Many educators agree that by making the learning experience fun, exciting, and relevant, the "conflict" between teacher expectations and student expectations in the classroom will be reduced.
Rawatee Maharaj-Sharma • Tuesday 24 May 2005 • Trinidad Express

Teacher professionalism in T&T
Unless we as teachers clearly understand our roles in the education process in particular and national development in general; unless we view our jobs as vocations to be pursued with passion and efficacy, professionalism in the education sector will continue to be elusive.
Raymond Hackett • Tuesday 22 March 2005 • Trinidad Express

Excessive homework harmful to children
What is worse is that research by Harris Cooper and others in the US have shown that there is little or no overall relation between the volume of homework students do and their performance on achievement tests.
Letter to the Editor of Trinidad Guardian by Dr Kumar Mahabir • Thursday 03 March, 2005

"Perhaps some policy-makers, educators, teachers and parents need do some extra homework. They need to read the book by Etta Kralovec and John Buell entitled The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learning."

Page TopDraft National Gender Policy and Action Plan • See: Commentary

Personal views not for public ear
Her level of arrogance and self-righteousness is such that she is competent to criticise people in other Caribbean countries because laws were passed of which she does not approve.
Letter to the Editor of Trinidad Guardian by Heather Alexis 19 May 2005

Duty is to interpret law
AS far as I am aware, the duty of a judicial officer is to interpret the law and not to pronounce upon draft laws
Letter to the Editor of Trinidad Guardian by L Narine 14 May 2005

Gays are people too
Firstly, I do not have a problem with acknowledging the Supremacy of God, however gays are not asking for divine intervention when it comes to protection.
Letter to the Editor of Newsday by Ryan Martinez 12 May 2005

Jesus won't fit in with anti-gay crowd
Whenever the homosexuality issue comes up and the church people start their Old Testament ranting and raving and frothing at the mouth, I reflect on the figure of Jesus Christ
Letter to the Editor of Trinidad Express by Errol Anthony 09 May 2005

Never take progress for granted
When you listen to or read the remarks of people like Justice Alice Yorke-Soo Hon, Patricia Roberts and other "spiritual'' people you realise that human progress is not as simple and straightforward a process as we often like to think.
Letter to the Editor of Trinidad Express by Errol Anthony 04 May 2005

Murder, mayhem in Unholy Republic
This unholy Republic of T&T, with its unholy men and women who hide behind a false and untrue morality; a "morality'' devoid of compassion and love, this republic cannot give our children the type of world they deserve
Letter to the Editor of Trinidad Express by AD Bagoo 03 May 2005

Rights of everyone must be protected
"... there must be majority legislation in our secular world, but it must never be at the cost of denial of basic rights of the individual."
Sunday Express editorial opinion 08 May 2005

"On one hand it is comparatively easy on purely rational and philosophical arguments to determine what is right or wrong and there are a few behaviours than can be placed in such categories. On the other hand what may be considered right in one culture may be wrong in another. Codification of basic human rights and a country's laws therefore seek to protect all in society from the imposition of perceptions of right and wrong by one group on another or on any individual. The alternative to this option is continued division.."

CCSJ wants their christian values and beliefs in our secular legislation
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"... but forcing their doctrine on our secular laws is another matter"
Philip Fortune • contribution towards the TT Humanist statement

Page TopT&T Telecommunications Authority proposed Broadcast Code

Code must be voluntary and developed by the broadcasters
"The one thing that must be resisted is a code imposed ... by any kind of authority."
Dennis Solomon • suggestions for a collective statement (not made)

The Passing of Pope John Paul II • 03 April 2005 • See: Commentary

The problem is in religion, not in John Paul II
"The Catholic Church exists, and has always existed, to conceal truth and distort reason"
Dennis Solomon • contribution towards the TT Humanist statement

The Pope has blood on his hands
"The Pope did great damage to the church, and to countless Catholics"
Terry Eagleton • Monday 04 April 2005 • The Guardian (UK)

"The greatest crime of his papacy, however, was neither his part in this cover up nor his neanderthal attitude to women. It was the grotesque irony by which the Vatican condemned - as a "culture of death" - condoms, which might have saved countless Catholics in the developing world from an agonising Aids death. The Pope goes to his eternal reward with those deaths on his hands. He was one of the greatest disasters for the Christian church since Charles Darwin."

Not in my name
"How dare Tony Blair genuflect on our behalf before the corpse of a man whose edicts killed millions?"
Polly Toynbee • Friday 08 April 2005 •The Guardian (UK)

"Disgracefully, the European rich quietly ignore the church's outlandish teachings on contraception without rebelling on behalf of the helpless third-world poor who die for their misplaced faith. Those "civilised" Catholics have as much blood on their hands as the Vatican they support. They are like the Bollinger Bolsheviks who defended the USSR and a murderous ideology that they could do much to change. For today, just remember what lies beneath all this magnificent display."

Page TopThe Right to Die • Terri Schiavo • 27 March 2005

The right to live gives us a right to die
"The moral basis of the right to die is the right to good quality life"
Compiled by Geoff Frankson from the British Medical Journal editorial

Right to Die - Exploiting Terri Schiavo
"The controversy has more to do with Terry's husband and her parents and of course all the other hypocrites and religionists out there who want to impose their spiritual and moral values on the rest of us."
Compiled by Philip Fortune from the Internet

Never let it be said that Republicans let their principles get in the way of their politics.
"But the real 'roids outrage of the week was the Republicans' decision to violate conservative ideals about state rights, limited government, and the sanctity of marriage by muscling into the Terri Schiavo tragedy. (The last time they interfered with the Florida judiciary was Bush v. Gore.)"
Katrina vanden Heuvel • Editor's Cut • The Nation

Life, Death and Cynical Grandstanding
"What this case is really about is keeping politics and state-endorsed religion out of our private lives."
Robert Scheer • Column Left • The Nation

Exploiting Terri Schiavo
"The GOPers tossed the reddest of meat to their reddest of supporters. (You gotta keep them fed!)"
David Corn • Capital Games • The Nation

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