The Dominion
April 12 2001

Sex abuse fears change education - book

Public anxiety about sexual abuse has changed the relationship between children and teachers in New Zealand, a book being published this month says.

Touchy Subject: Teachers Touching Children is a collection of opinions of educationists from New Zealand, Samoa, Australia, Britain and the United States.

The publisher, University of Otago Press, says the book asks if New Zealand has gone overboard with the "hands-off" approach to pupils, and if men are being put off teaching.

Two contributors, Sarah-Eve Farquahar and Richard Johnson, say men are avoiding working in early childhood education.

A chapter by Lynley Hood says the Peter Ellis case arose out of three 1980s movements, radical feminism, religious conservatism and child protection.