Bishop pressures parents to overrule students' rights to HPV vaccine

A Bishop has told parents that Prince George Catholic Schools will not obey government rules that allow students to consent to getting the HPV vaccine. Rev Stephen Jensen also tells parents "abstinence is the only healthy choice."

The warnings came in a letter from the Bishop that was attached to HPV vaccine permission slips sent home with students.

Ian Bushfield, Executive Director, BC Humanist Association:

The law in BC is clear: Mature minors have the right to decide whether or not they want to receive vaccinations. Rev Jensen is trying to invent so-called "parental rights" in order to circumvent the law and push his puritanical views in taxpayer funded schools. The Education Minister should step in and pull funding from Independent Schools that are putting children at risk.

All of the independent Catholic schools in the Prince George region receive 50% of the per student government funding that local secular public schools receive.

The letter, reported by CBC, is only the latest instance of religious schools in BC pushing abstinence ahead of children's health. In August, freedom of information requests showed that partially publicly-funded Independent Christian Schools had the lowest HPV vaccination rates in the Fraser Valley.

The BC Humanist Association's Secular Schools campaign calls for an end to public funding to religious schools. The BCHA also calls for evidence-based, comprehensive education in human sexuality. Please donate to the Secular Schools campaign.

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