IT started with one voice. An ex-pupil of St Luke’s High School in Barrhead explained to me how their old school had shared anti-abortion campaign material on its official social media page. And it wasn’t a one-off problem.

With a little research, I found the issue went beyond sharing one-sided information – it was an active campaign in the school. They have a teacher-led “pro-life” group, where pupils of all ages are organised to join the anti-abortion cause. The school group donated money to anti-abortion group the Cardinal Winning Pro-life Initiative, which they were still supporting as of last year.

“Those young people – whether they’ve chosen or will choose abortion or not – deserve better than having their school on social media be explicitly against their legal right to bodily autonomy,” the former pupil said to me.

The story led to another complaint, this time from a current pupil at St Benedict’s High School in Linwood, over what they also described as the promotion of anti-abortion campaigns in school.

Like St Luke’s, a “pro-life” society had been set up. On St Benedict’s social media, a young girl was pictured holding a banner for SPUC – the "Society for the Protection of Unborn Children", an awkward bedfellow for any school interested in children being told the truth about sex, sexuality, and relationships.

The St Luke’s pupil said colleagues had been taken to an event to “condemn” the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act. Local schools were invited by John Keenan, bishop of Paisley, in conjunction with SPUC.

John Deighan, chief executive of SPUC, who spoke at the event, has an assortment of anti-human rights views. When I interviewed him, he claimed that condoms don’t work and that gay relationships contribute to social breakdown, and called for abortion to be criminalised. Women should face “sanctions” to “make sure that they don’t do them,” he told me.

Pedlars of bigotry should be nowhere near classrooms – yet last month blazer-wearing teens from across the west of Scotland posed with Deighan after this anti-abortion rally.

Teachers holding personal anti-abortion views isn’t a concern. But what steps over the line is trying to force those beliefs on young people. It is a breach of trust, and an abuse of their position.

The so-called pro-life movement isn’t personal: it wants to remove the right of women to make decisions over their own bodies. It wants to force women to give birth against their wishes, even in extreme circumstance like pregnancy as a result of rape. Instead of protecting life, it spreads stigma and increases the risk of unregulated "backstreet abortions".

The great hypocrisy of these puritan enforcers is that they also oppose the extension of sex education and access to contraception among young people: the major cause of unwanted pregnancies in the first place.

Last year the sexual health team at North Lanarkshire council warned that a religious split in sexual health access “put the health outcomes of children and young people at risk”. Young people have sex underage – one in four boys, according to one survey. That reality has to be addressed, and that means providing expert health advice.

Younger teachers I’ve spoken to are well aware of the problem – but warn that sensitivities over sex and faith are preventing action. The Time for Inclusive Education campaign has led the way on improving teaching around sexual identity. These cases show there is also a wider challenge to make sure young people get the facts and not just one-sided dogma.

Will any of Scotland’s political and educational leaders be bold enough to speak out?


Community spirit goes bump in the night

AS a kind-hearted son, I decided to visit my parents at the weekend. Naturally, they told me they’d be away having fun, so I’d actually be home alone. At least they had agreed to leave a key out for me ...

At just past midnight in the suburbs of Glasgow, amidst the wind and rain, I discovered they had remembered to leave out a tin for the key – but had forgotten the key ingredient. As I got slowly soaked, I rummaged through my pockets and the soggy leaves in case I’d misplaced it. But no. There wasn’t even a window to climb in.

So with no trains running and the battery out on my phone, I looked for the nearest light. And there was hope. One upstairs light was on in a neighbour’s house. So I reached out for help.

A knock on the door wasn’t expected at such a late hour, and it caused my neighbour to fall out of bed and hit his head. Now he needed stitches. I was wet, and now I had a guilt complex.

However I did, thanks to neighbourly generosity, have somewhere to sleep for the night.

Despite a bump in the head, community spirit is still alive and well.

Michael Gray @GrayInGlasgow is a journalist with