Made to watch graphic anti-abortion film at school ?

Not sure what made me think of this, but when i was about 17 our R.E. teacher made us gather in the chapel and showed us a rather grizzly film showing late term abortions. I dont remember it being an option.

It had the effect of upsetting most of the class - and certainly put a downer on the rest of the afternoon !

Is / was this a common practice?
Background info:
Mixed UK private school, not a faith / religious school in any way, lords prayer in assembly and R.E. once a week. This was about 1995.

Which school?

I went to two mixed UK prep schools and one mixed private secondary school and I don’t remember abortion ever coming up in any fashion, although I left when I was 13 so maybe I just wasn’t “old enough”.

The fact that the school has a chapel is pretty strong evidence that it IS a school with a religious orientation. I can’t speak about UK schools, but in the US private schools have to meet certain educational minimums (determined state by state), but beyond that they can pump out pretty much any crap they want if enough of the parents will tolerate it.

UK schools are a bit different - private schools are nearly all theoretically parochial, but it’s lip service. The UK has an official state religion, too, but hardly anyone professes strong belief god (and most of those that do are not Church of England adherents).

What is “R.E.”?

Any idea why this would be? One would think that in a country with a state religion that it would be the public schools more or less paying lip service to it, and private schools either being more religious, or being totally secular.

Religious Education. Required at all levels of UK public schools, and kids learn about all the major religions in a not-preaching way. Obviously it’s fairly common at parochial schools, too, and may or may not be preachy depending on who is teaching (usually not).

Most schools in Britain are really old; the public schools (public in the UK sense, not in the state-run sense) were established long before state schooling existed. There are non-C of E private schools, of course, but they tend to be newer and therefore crappier.

Grizzly bear abortions?

Abortion was never discussed in school (we had NO sex education whatsoever), but when I was 9 or 10, my pastor took the youth group to a local farm, where we were shown a stillborn calf. It might even have had two heads (or maybe that memory was from the freak tent at the carnival). The “lesson” was “This is what happens when you have sex before you’re ready.”

At that age, my only thought was “Who’s going to have sex with a cow?” Years later, I wondered how the farmer and the pastor arranged this object lesson. “Hey Elmer! Next time your cow has a stillbirth, gimme a call – I have an idea.”

Schools can be weird. All I recall is the anti drug film, in high school or middle, not sure. I didn’t look at the screen, I am quite squemish about those things and knew I’d never take drugs.
That sounds even grosser, its best to ignore most movies in school, except the grainy shaky ones where the announcer says “Welcome to the wonderful world of argiculture…”

Now opening for The Decemberists.

Those two statements just do not compute. Must be a UK thing.

Totally public US high school.


Abortion was mentioned, in the context of “safe and legal, last resort, use protection, [similar platitudes], blah blah blah.”

I see it worked out really well for you guys, especially in Northern Ireland where I bet they don’t even know how to hate someone based on their religion because they all know about everyone else’s religion and live in peace.

Wish we could have that here …

We learned about abortion through countless debates conducted by stupid kids who didn’t know shit about sex or life and had had only basic sex ed. Sex ed was a segment every year in both elementary and high school (IIRC) though in retrospect I really think they should have hammered it in harder (sorry) in the last year of high school. Get all the stupid questions and important facts out of the way: You CAN get pregnant the first time. If you just started the Pill with your new boyfriend you may be crying and suicidal because of it, not him. Women don’t pee out of their vaginas. And so on.

And if their intent was to curb pre-marital sex, rather than abortion, video of a woman giving birth would probably be even more effective.

Really Not All That Bright - Kings Tynemouth. In fact this page describes the schools ‘Pastoral care’. The tv was setup just to the left of the girl at the alter !

Yeh kayaker - reading that back it does seem odd, but its pretty normal in the UK to have both of those things.

I went to school in Northern Ireland.
A nice girls’ grammar actually.

Our R.E teachers were:
an unmarried devout Baptist who was a self professed virgin (in her mid-50s)
the wife of a Presbyterian minister who had 5 kids
the wife of a CoI minister who had no kids
All taught other subjects as well (History, English, Home Economics).
R.E was basically teaching a few Bible stories and the the basics of various world religions as well as ethics- nothing the Buddhists, Jewish or Hindu students objected to.

Our school taught the mechanics of sex in Biology and the touchy-feely relationships and contraception stuff in the PSE (Personal and Social Education) classes in sixth form.PSE was taught by the RE teachers and the gym teachers-definitely no overt religious theme and abortion was discussed in terms of what was and wasn’t legal in Northern Ireland. I have vivid memories of one RE teacher handing round diaphragms and femidoms for “demonstration purposes”.

No compulsory “silent scream” vewings.

I have to admit that I actually ended up not taking RE past the age of 13- I took Latin as an eleventh GCSE, so my parents wrote a note excusing me from RE so I could go to a one-on-one tutorial with the Latin teacher (who has since, weirdly, become one of the few female Church of Ireland ministers in Northern Ireland).

If you don’t want your child to go to the RE classes all you have to do is write a note to the school opting them out- it’s not exactly a huge deal and I think about 15 other girls had opted-out by the age of 18 (mostly so they could study for their A-Levels, some because the were atheists, some because they would rather sneak off the campus and smoke instead).

I was in a single-sex private school, non-faith in the same sense as yours, and would consider this weird. I am a bit younger than you, but I can’t imagine things would have changed drastically in a few years.

We had the graphic birth video, and in sixth form some pretty graphic images of STDs, but not abortion. I think it came up as part of sex ed and was discussed but I don’t remember any kind of visuals. Seems like an odd thing for a non-religious school to be pushing on you.

For non-UK dopers it is worth noting that abortion isn’t the big issue over here as it seems to be in America. Sure, it has its opponents but it certainly isn’t a big political issue. This is weird to me.

I went to an American public school. All I recal about abortion was when a speaker in our health class mentioned she’d witness abortions where the fetus had been born alive and the attending physician had to place it in a tub and poor water over it so it would drown. :dubious: I really wish I was making that up, but she actually said that.

  1. The Troubles aren’t/weren’t really about religion. They’re about two groups of different origin who happen to belong to different sects of Christianity.

  2. Nondenominational/sectarian religious education in UK schools are a relatively recent development.

  3. You are threadshitting.