07 November 2009

Vocabulary In the News : 6 November 2009 – The Times (UK)


Sex education in the United Kingdom will soon be made mandatory for all 15-year-olds. In other words, these teenagers will be legally obliged to take one-year of sex and relationship lessons. Another common synonym for this word is compulsory.

This decision has prompted fury from religious groups who believe this contravenes parental rights. This means that if enacted, they believe the  decision  would violate parents’ rights to educate children according to their beliefs.

If students opt out on religious grounds, it will be considered as truancy and the students may be punished by the school. If you opt out of something, you decide to not participate or not take part in something. Opting out on religious grounds means to not participate because of religious reasons. Here’s another example of the phrase: In France it is illegal to discriminate against someone on the grounds of religion, race, sex, age or sexual orientation.

Students who decide to not attend these lessons on the grounds of religious beliefs will be punished for truancy which means they are absent from class without permission. Any student skipping class is said to be truant. In the UK, Canada and the US, there are police officers or other designated officials who are authorized to arrest truant students and take the child to school. These officers or officials are called truant officers.

Read the original article at : http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/article6905543.ece

Learn more about truancy at :  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truancy

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