French schools fight gay marriage3 January 2013
The head of France's Catholic school network has waded into the controversy over same-sex marriage by urging head teachers to involve pupils in the debate.
Eric de Labarre, secretary general of the Catholic education network of 8,300 primary and secondary schools, said schools must confront the issue because parents and pupils were asking head teachers about the Government's plan to allow gay marriage and adoption by mid-2013.
In his letter to school heads, he said head teachers should take "appropriate local initiatives", a term covering discussions in schools and possible participation in the protest. He insisted the discussions should be age-appropriate and respectful of homosexuals. One secular teachers' union accused Mr de Labarre of wanting to turn pupils into "cannon fodder for church battles".
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